H&R Block Inc. (NYSE:HRB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.
According to Zacks, “H&R Block has intensified focus on its core operations and has divested its non-core operations. The company has chalked up a capital plan to ensure enough liquidity and enhance shareholder value. It also remains focused on boosting client base and lower costs, which in turn, will drive strong free cash flows. H&R Block projects long-term EBITDA guidance between 28% and 32%. However, the divestiture of the bank unit involves certain one-time charges and also led to revenue decline and margin contraction for H&R Block. Unfavorable foreign currency translation is another headwind. With respect to its earnings performance, the tax preparer has posted negative surprise in three of the last four quarters owing to the seasonality of its tax business. However, there were no earnings momentum for fiscal 2017 over the last 30 days though for the fiscal 2018, the Zacks Consensus Estimate moved south by a couple of cents.”
Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of H&R Block in a research report on Thursday, September 1st. BTIG Research reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of H&R Block in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $26.00 price target on shares of H&R Block in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $28.00 price target (down previously from $29.00) on shares of H&R Block in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on H&R Block from $23.00 to $24.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. H&R Block currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $31.10.
H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) opened at 23.09 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $23.23 and its 200-day moving average price is $23.35. The firm has a market cap of $5.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.62 and a beta of 0.80. H&R Block has a 12 month low of $19.18 and a 12 month high of $37.53.
H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 30th. The company reported ($0.55) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.53) by $0.02. H&R Block had a negative return on equity of 202.63% and a net margin of 11.58%. The business had revenue of $125 million for the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned ($0.35) earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that H&R Block will post $1.74 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 3rd. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 14th will be given a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 12th. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.81%. H&R Block’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 52.69%.
In related news, insider Jeffrey Brown sold 16,067 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.86, for a total transaction of $367,291.62. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 118,513 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,709,207.18. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Gregory J. Macfarlane purchased 4,618 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 1st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $21.65 per share, for a total transaction of $99,979.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 121,707 shares in the company, valued at $2,634,956.55. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. FMR LLC raised its stake in H&R Block by 34.0% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,027,724 shares of the company’s stock worth $391,638,000 after buying an additional 4,315,751 shares during the period. First Eagle Investment Management LLC raised its stake in H&R Block by 0.4% in the second quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 5,751,645 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,288,000 after buying an additional 22,768 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in H&R Block by 0.3% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,920,607 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,175,000 after buying an additional 13,315 shares during the period. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership raised its stake in H&R Block by 21.4% in the second quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 4,349,421 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,037,000 after buying an additional 766,466 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Advisors LLC raised its stake in H&R Block by 1.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 3,551,647 shares of the company’s stock worth $81,688,000 after buying an additional 61,276 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.05% of the company’s stock.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc (H&R Block), through its subsidiaries, provides tax preparation and other services. The Company provides assisted income tax return preparation, digital do-it-yourself (DIY) tax solutions and other services and products related to income tax return preparation to the general public primarily in the United States, Canada, Australia and their respective territories.
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