(By Balaseshan) H&R Block Inc. (NYSE:HRB), a tax service provider, reported a narrower quarterly loss due to lower costs despite a 4.1% decline in revenue. Despite revenue missing consensus, loss narrowed from Street's expectations.
Loss from continuing operations for the first quarter narrowed to $105.65 million or $0.38 per share from $119.16 million or $0.39 per share last year. The company typically reports a first quarter operating loss due to the seasonality of its core U.S. tax business.
Adjusted loss from continuing operations for the latest quarter was $104.65 million or $0.38 per share.
Revenue for the quarter declined to $96.49 million from $100.62 million.
Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a loss of $0.39 per share on revenue of $101.15 million for the first quarter.
Service revenue declined to $79.90 million from $83.02 million.
Revenue from Tax Services declined 1% to $90 million, due to an extension of the prior year's Canadian tax filing season, which added revenues totaling $4 million in fiscal 2012.
"The improvement in our first quarter results and lower operating expenses in part reflects the impact of our cost reduction initiatives. We expect these initiatives will add $85 to $100 million of pretax earnings in fiscal 2013, leading to earnings and margin expansion," said Bill Cobb, H&R Block's President and CEO.
HRB closed Wednesday's regular trading down 1.64% at $16.23. The stock has been trading between $12.73 and $17.46 for the past 52 weeks.