H&R Block ( HRB) reported a narrower than expected loss in the fiscal first quarter, thanks in part to a strong performance at its mortgage business. The company, largely known for its tax preparation offices, posted a loss of $9.5 million, or 5 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $30.8 million, or 17 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Analysts expected H&R Block to lose 10 cents a share in the quarter. Block records the bulk of its profits during the first few months of each calendar year when the company is contending with tax season. Revenue in the latest quarter rose to $431.4 million from $329 million in the same period a year earlier. The company also said it expects a second-quarter loss of around 10 cents a share. Wall Street is looking for a loss of 16 cents. Shares of H&R Block ended regular trading at $50.89, down 12 cents, or 0.2%, on the day. In Instinet action after the close, Block added $1.11, or 2%, to $52.