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H&R Block beats Q4 estimates and announces dividend increase

H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) topped market expectations on revenue and earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019. After gaining briefly in premarket hours on Tuesday, the stock dropped by 1.6%.

Total revenues dropped to $2.33 billion from $2.39 billion in the same period last year, but beat estimates of $2.32 billion.  

H&R Block reports fourth quarter 2019 earnings results

Net income declined to $877 million, or $4.29 per share, from $1.14 billion, or $5.42 per share, in the prior-year period, but topped forecasts of $4.13 per share.  

For FY19, revenues fell 2.1% to $3.1 billion due to targeted price decreases in the US Assisted tax business. Net income from continuing operations decreased 29% to $445 million while EPS dropped 27.9% to $2.15.

In fiscal 2019, US tax returns prepared by or through H&R Block rose 1.5% to 20.3 million. Overall client growth was driven by DIY online growth of 9.3%. Assisted returns decreased 1.7%.  

The Board of Directors approved a 4% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.26 per share. The dividend is payable on July 1 to shareholders of record as of June 21, 2019. The company also extended its share repurchase authorization by three years. The authorization has around $1 billion remaining and will expire in June 2022.

In a separate release, the company announced that it has agreed to acquire financial solutions platform Wave for $405 million. The deal is expected to close in the next few months subject to regulatory approval. Based on the expected timing of closure, H&R Block estimates the transaction will generate revenues of $40-45 million for fiscal 2020.

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