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H&R Block revenue dips ahead of tax strategy session

Updated: 2013-12-11T06:42:12Z

By MARK DAVIS

The Kansas City Star

H&R Block Inc. on Tuesday reported a 2.1 percent drop in revenue during its second quarter, which ended Oct. 31, and posted losses roughly equal with a year ago.

The $104.9 million loss, equal to 39 cents a share, came on $134.3 million in revenue during the traditionally weak quarter outside the U.S. tax season. A year ago, Block lost $105.2 million on $137.3 million in revenue.

Kansas City-based Block said the results were in line with its expectations for the year.

Management will discuss the company’s strategy for the next tax season during a conference Wednesday in New York. Block will offer a webcast of the 7:15 a.m. event.

“I’m pleased with the initiatives we have in place for the upcoming tax season and am confident that we are well positioned to again deliver strong results this year,” chief executive Bill Cobb said in the announcement.

Block said its tax services business saw a dip in revenue because of a timing difference in its Australia tax business. It benefited, however, from higher revenue tied to its Emerald cards. Customers are using the debit cards increasingly for more than receiving their tax refunds.

Cobb said efforts to sell the H&R Block Bank had “made progress,” but he did not offer any details. Block wants to sell the Kansas City-based bank to free itself from costly capital requirements and regulations as a bank holding company.

Block shares were down 21 cents at $28.81 at the close of trading Tuesday ahead of the earnings report.

To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372 or send email to mdavis@kcstar.com.

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