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CST: 19/08/2019 15:22:55   

H&R Block Reports Fiscal 2019 Results; Enters into Agreement to Acquire Wave Financial; Announces Dividend Increase and Extension of Share Repurchase Authorization

69 Days ago

  • Achieved overall U.S. tax return growth, outpacing the industry for the second consecutive year.
  • Reported fiscal 2019 revenues and margins at the high end of previously-provided outlook.
  • Signed definitive agreement to acquire Wave Financial Inc. (“Wave”), accelerating the company’s strategy in the large and expanding small business market, providing new growth opportunities. 
  • Announced dividend increase to an annual rate of $1.04, or $0.26 per quarter, representing a 4 percent increase over the prior year.
  • Repurchased approximately 7.9 million shares for $185 million during the fiscal year; extended share repurchase authorization to June 2022.
  • Company will share its financial outlook for fiscal 2020 during its earnings conference call today at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) today released its financial results for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2019.  Following a strong tax season, the company achieved revenues of $3.1 billion1 and EBITDA margin of 25.8 percent.  These results reflect strategic investments the company announced at the start of the fiscal year in pricing, technology, and operational initiatives to drive long-term growth.

For fiscal 2019, U.S. tax returns prepared by or through H&R Block increased 1.5 percent, to 20.3 million.  Overall client growth was driven by DIY online growth of 9.3 percent, as the company provided enhanced value for consumers through improvements in the user experience, and also increased awareness.  Assisted returns decreased 1.7 percent, which was anticipated due to the elimination of the Free Federal 1040EZ promotion.

“I’m pleased with how our associates and franchisees executed year one of our enterprise strategy, as our strategic investments led to numerous improvements across our tax business,” said Jeff Jones, H&R Block’s president and chief executive officer.  “We delivered great value for our clients and took overall market share by offering upfront transparent pricing, focusing on the quality of our service, enhancing our DIY offerings, and innovating in Virtual.  I’m excited about our future as we continue to strengthen the relevance of H&R Block by offering consumers industry-leading choice and value.  Additionally, we entered into an agreement to acquire Wave, which will enable us to accelerate our small business strategy and broaden our product suite, ultimately providing new growth opportunities for H&R Block.”

Fiscal 2019 Results From Continuing Operations

"We executed well against our objectives for fiscal 2019 and it showed in our results, as we achieved the high end of our revenue and margin expectations," said Tony Bowen, H&R Block's chief financial officer.  "We were also able to return a significant amount of capital to our shareholders while maintaining a strong balance sheet, which provides us financial flexibility as we work toward long-term, sustainable growth."

(in millions, except EPS)   Fiscal Year 2019   Fiscal Year 2018
Revenue   $ 3,095     $ 3,160  
Pretax Income   $ 545     $ 669  
Net Income   $ 445     $ 627  
Weighted-Avg. Shares - Diluted   206.7     210.2  
EPS2   $ 2.15     $ 2.98  
EBITDA3   $ 799     $ 941  
         

Key Financial Metrics

  • Total revenues of $3.1 billion decreased 65 million, or 2.1 percent, as anticipated, driven by targeted price decreases in our U.S. Assisted tax business.  This decrease was partially offset by increased U.S. DIY tax preparation fees resulting from increased return volumes and favorable product mix.
  • Total operating expenses of $2.5 billion increased $71 million, or 3.0 percent, primarily due to planned investments in technology as well as an increase in marketing expenses.
  • Pretax income of $545 million decreased $124 million, or 18.5 percent.
  • The company’s effective tax rate increased to 18.3 percent in fiscal 2019 from 6.3 percent in fiscal 2018.  The effective tax rate in fiscal 2018 was unusually low due to the timing of the change in federal corporate tax rates.
  • Net income from continuing operations of $445 million decreased $182 million, or 29.0 percent, primarily due to the decrease in pretax income as well as the change to the company's effective tax rate.  EBITDA from continuing operations of $799 million decreased $142 million, or 15.1 percent, reflecting an EBITDA margin of 25.8 percent.3
  • Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $2.15 decreased $0.83, or 27.9 percent.  Approximately $0.32 of the $0.83 decrease was due to a higher effective tax rate.

Wave Acquisition (waveapps.com)

Today the company announced in a separate release that it entered into an agreement to acquire Wave, a rapidly-growing financial solutions platform focused on changing the way small business owners manage their finances. Under the terms of the agreement, H&R Block will acquire all outstanding shares of Wave for $405 million, funded with available cash. The transaction is expected to close in the next few months, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

Dividend Increase and Share Repurchase Authorization

The company announced that its Board of Directors approved a 4 percent increase in its quarterly dividend, to $0.26 per share.  Future actions regarding dividends will be dependent upon the Board's approval following consideration of operating results, market conditions, and capital needs, among other factors.

A quarterly cash dividend of $0.26 per share is payable on July 1, 2019 to shareholders of record as of June 21, 2019.  H&R Block has paid quarterly dividends consecutively since the company went public in 1962.

The company also announced that its Board of Directors extended its previous share repurchase authorization three years.  Approximately $1.0 billion remains under this authorization, which now expires in June 2022.  During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, the company repurchased 3.2 million shares for $75 million, bringing total fiscal 2019 repurchases to 7.9 million shares for $185 million, at an average price of $23.51.

Discontinued Operations

For information on Sand Canyon, please refer to disclosures in the company’s reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q, and other filings with the SEC.

Conference Call

Discussion of the fiscal 2019 results, outlook, the pending acquisition of Wave, and a general business update will occur during the company’s previously-announced fiscal 2019 earnings conference call for analysts, institutional investors, and shareholders.  The call is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on June 11, 2019. To access the call, please dial the number below approximately 10 minutes prior to the scheduled starting time:

U.S./Canada (866) 987-6821 or International (630) 652-5951

Conference ID: 8988609

The call, along with a presentation for viewing, will also be webcast in a listen-only format for the media and public. The link to the webcast can be accessed directly at http://investors.hrblock.com.  The presentation will be posted on the Webcasts and Presentations page at http://investors.hrblock.com following the conclusion of the call.

A replay of the call will be available beginning at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time on June 11, 2019, and continuing for seven days, by dialing (855) 859-2056 (U.S./Canada) or (404) 537-3406 (International). The conference ID is 8988609. The webcast will be available for replay beginning on June 12, 2019 and continuing for 90 days at http://investors.hrblock.com.

About H&R Block

H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 11,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2019, H&R Block had annual revenues of $3.1 billion with over 23 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom.

About Non-GAAP Financial Information

This press release and the accompanying tables include non-GAAP financial information. For a description of these non-GAAP financial measures, including the reasons management uses each measure, and reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measures prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, please see the section of the accompanying tables titled "Non-GAAP Financial Information."

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the securities laws. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They often include words or variation of words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "commits," "seeks," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "targets," "would," "will," "should," "goal," "could" or "may" or other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements provide management's current expectations or predictions of future conditions, events or results. All statements that address operating performance, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future are forward-looking statements. They may include estimates of revenues, client trajectory, income, effective tax rate, earnings per share, cost savings, capital expenditures, dividends, share repurchases, liquidity, capital structure, market share, industry volumes or other financial items, descriptions of management’s plans or objectives for future operations, products or services, or descriptions of assumptions underlying any of the above. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and reflect the company's good faith beliefs, assumptions and expectations, but they are not guarantees of future performance or events. Furthermore, the company disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect changes in underlying assumptions, factors, or expectations, new information, data or methods, future events or other changes, except as required by law. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to a variety of economic, competitive and regulatory factors, many of which are beyond the company's control, that are described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2018 in the section entitled "Risk Factors" and additional factors we may describe from time to time in other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You may get such filings for free at our website at http://investors.hrblock.com. In addition, factors that may cause the company’s actual estimated effective tax rate to differ from estimates include the company’s actual results from operations compared to current estimates, future discrete items, changes in interpretations and assumptions the company has made, and future actions of the company. You should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors and, consequently, you should not consider any such list to be a complete set of all potential risks or uncertainties.


All amounts in this release are unaudited.  Unless otherwise noted, all comparisons refer to the current period compared to the corresponding prior year period.
2 All per share amounts are based on fully diluted shares at the end of the corresponding period.
3 The company reports non-GAAP financial measures of performance, including earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), EBITDA margin and free cash flow, which it considers to be useful metrics for management and investors to evaluate and compare the ongoing operating performance of the company.  See "About Non-GAAP Financial Information" below for more information regarding financial measures not prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).


For Further Information
   
Investor Relations: Colby Brown, (816) 854-4559, colby.brown@hrblock.com
   
Media Relations: Susan Waldron, (816) 854-5522, susan.waldron@hrblock.com
   



CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS       (unaudited, in 000s
- except per share amounts)
    Three months ended April 30,   Year ended April 30,
    2019   2018   2019   2018
                 
REVENUES:                
Service revenues   $ 2,063,941     $ 2,125,037     $ 2,691,727     $ 2,766,426  
Royalty, product and other revenues   268,502     267,812     403,154     393,505  
    2,332,443     2,392,849     3,094,881     3,159,931  
OPERATING EXPENSES:                
Costs of revenues   863,521     855,394     1,756,922     1,739,729  
Selling, general and administrative   317,650     286,959     722,167     668,152  
Total operating expenses   1,181,171     1,142,353     2,479,089     2,407,881  
                 
Other income (expense), net   5,144     2,795     16,419     6,054  
Interest expense on borrowings   (21,837 )   (22,270 )   (87,051 )   (89,372 )
Income from continuing operations before income taxes   1,134,579     1,231,021     545,160     668,732  
Income taxes   249,810     85,057     99,904     41,823  
Net income from continuing operations   884,769     1,145,964     445,256     626,909  
Net loss from discontinued operations   (6,860 )   (3,037 )   (22,747 )   (13,760 )
NET INCOME   $ 877,909     $ 1,142,927     $ 422,509     $ 613,149  
                 
BASIC EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE:                
Continuing operations   $ 4.36     $ 5.47     $ 2.16     $ 2.99  
Discontinued operations   (0.04 )   (0.02 )   (0.11 )   (0.06 )
Consolidated   $ 4.32     $ 5.45     $ 2.05     $ 2.93  
                 
WEIGHTED AVERAGE BASIC SHARES   202,675     209,230     205,372     208,824  
                 
DILUTED EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE:                
Continuing operations   $ 4.32     $ 5.43     $ 2.15     $ 2.98  
Discontinued operations   (0.03 )   (0.01 )   (0.11 )   (0.07 )
Consolidated   $ 4.29     $ 5.42     $ 2.04     $ 2.91  
                 
WEIGHTED AVERAGE DILUTED SHARES   204,199     210,527     206,724     210,213  
                 



CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS   (unaudited, in 000s - except per share data)
As of April 30,   2019   2018
         
ASSETS        
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 1,572,150     $ 1,544,944  
Cash and cash equivalents - restricted   135,577     118,734  
Receivables, net   138,965     146,774  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   146,667     81,261  
Total current assets   1,993,359     1,891,713  
Property and equipment, net   212,092     231,888  
Intangible assets, net   342,493     373,981  
Goodwill   519,937     507,871  
Deferred tax assets and income taxes receivable   141,979     34,095  
Other noncurrent assets   90,085     101,401  
Total assets   $ 3,299,945     $ 3,140,949  
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY        
LIABILITIES:        
Accounts payable and accrued expenses   $ 249,525     $ 251,975  
Accrued salaries, wages and payroll taxes   196,527     141,499  
Accrued income taxes and reserves for uncertain tax positions   271,973     263,050  
Current portion of long-term debt       1,026  
Deferred revenue and other current liabilities   204,976     186,101  
Total current liabilities   923,001     843,651  
Long-term debt   1,492,629     1,494,609  
Deferred tax liabilities and reserves for uncertain tax positions   197,906     229,430  
Deferred revenue and other noncurrent liabilities   144,882     179,548  
Total liabilities   2,758,418     2,747,238  
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES        
STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY:        
Common stock, no par, stated value $.01 per share   2,383     2,462  
Additional paid-in capital   767,636     760,250  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (20,416 )   (14,303 )
Retained earnings   499,386     362,980  
Less treasury shares, at cost   (707,462 )   (717,678 )
Total stockholders' equity   541,527     393,711  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity   $ 3,299,945     $ 3,140,949  
         



CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS   (unaudited, in 000s)
Year ended April 30,   2019   2018
CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:        
Net income   $ 422,509     $ 613,149  
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:        
Depreciation and amortization   166,695     183,295  
Provision for bad debt   70,569     74,489  
Deferred taxes   1,129     112,140  
Stock-based compensation   23,767     21,954  
Changes in assets and liabilities, net of acquisitions:        
Receivables   (73,648 )   (63,935 )
Prepaid expenses and other current and noncurrent assets   (4,503 )   (6,453 )
Accounts payable, accrued expenses, salaries, wages and payroll taxes   54,827     (10,532 )
Deferred revenue, other current and noncurrent liabilities   (13,758 )   9,127  
Income tax receivables, accrued income taxes and income tax reserves   (36,824 )   (75,491 )
Other, net   (4,225 )   (7,740 )
Net cash provided by operating activities   606,538     850,003  
         
CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:        
Capital expenditures   (95,490 )   (98,583 )
Payments made for business acquisitions, net of cash acquired   (43,637 )   (42,539 )
Franchise loans funded   (19,922 )   (22,320 )
Payments received on franchise loans   32,671     39,968  
Other, net   (28,753 )   11,417  
Net cash used in investing activities   (155,131 )   (112,057 )
         
CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:        
Repayments of line of credit borrowings   (720,000 )   (830,000 )
Proceeds from line of credit borrowings   720,000     830,000  
Dividends paid   (205,461 )   (200,469 )
Repurchase of common stock, including shares surrendered   (189,912 )   (9,147 )
Proceeds from exercise of stock options   2,532     28,340  
Other, net   (10,854 )   (9,388 )
Net cash used in financing activities   (403,695 )   (190,664 )
         
Effects of exchange rate changes on cash   (3,663 )   (1,143 )
         
Net increase in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash   44,049     546,139  
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, beginning of the year   1,663,678     1,117,539  
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, end of the year   $ 1,707,727     $ 1,663,678  
         
SUPPLEMENTARY CASH FLOW DATA:        
Income taxes paid, net of refunds received   $ 132,982     $ 8,276  
Interest paid on borrowings   82,442     84,320  
Accrued additions to property and equipment   6,159     3,010  
         



FINANCIAL RESULTS   (unaudited, in 000s - except per share amounts)
    Three months ended April 30,   Year ended April 30,
    2019   2018   2019   2018
REVENUES:                
U.S. assisted tax preparation   $ 1,529,429     $ 1,613,204     $ 1,858,998     $ 1,947,160  
U.S. royalties   185,643     186,049     243,541     245,444  
U.S. DIY tax preparation   222,422     204,348     260,082     243,159  
International revenues   123,582     126,607     220,562     227,266  
Revenues from Refund Transfers   120,519     117,238     169,985     171,959  
Revenues from Emerald Card®   59,552     62,348     98,256     102,640  
Revenues from Peace of Mind® Extended Service Plan   30,623     25,077     108,114     101,572  
Revenues from Tax Identity Shield®   18,022     21,494     35,661     28,823  
Interest and fee income on Emerald AdvanceTM   26,414     24,653     58,182     56,986  
Other   16,237     11,831     41,500     34,922  
Total revenues   2,332,443     2,392,849     3,094,881     3,159,931  
                 
Compensation and benefits:                
Field wages   488,600     478,809     751,392     740,675  
Other wages   64,950     51,344     217,061     191,981  
Benefits and other compensation   90,389     86,837     180,276     173,221  
    643,939     616,990     1,148,729     1,105,877  
                 
Occupancy   111,328     118,769     401,341     401,524  
Marketing and advertising   181,451     166,267     269,807     249,142  
Depreciation and amortization   40,682     46,417     166,695     183,295  
Bad debt   37,504     41,060     70,695     74,489  
Other (1)   166,267     152,850     421,822     393,554  
Total operating expenses   1,181,171     1,142,353     2,479,089     2,407,881  
                 
Other income (expense), net   5,144     2,795     16,419     6,054  
Interest expense on borrowings   (21,837 )   (22,270 )   (87,051 )   (89,372 )
Income from continuing operations before income taxes   1,134,579     1,231,021     545,160     668,732  
Income taxes   249,810     85,057     99,904     41,823  
Net income from continuing operations   884,769     1,145,964     445,256     626,909  
Net loss from discontinued operations   (6,860 )   (3,037 )   (22,747 )   (13,760 )
NET INCOME   $ 877,909     $ 1,142,927     $ 422,509     $ 613,149  
                 
BASIC EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE:                
Continuing operations   $ 4.36     $ 5.47     $ 2.16     $ 2.99  
Discontinued operations   (0.04 )   (0.02 )   (0.11 )   (0.06 )
Consolidated   $ 4.32     $ 5.45     $ 2.05     $ 2.93  
                 
WEIGHTED AVERAGE BASIC SHARES   202,675     209,230     205,372     208,824  
                 
DILUTED EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE:                
Continuing operations   $ 4.32     $ 5.43     $ 2.15     $ 2.98  
Discontinued operations   (0.03 )   (0.01 )   (0.11 )   (0.07 )
Consolidated   $ 4.29     $ 5.42     $ 2.04     $ 2.91  
                 
WEIGHTED AVERAGE DILUTED SHARES   204,199     210,527     206,724     210,213  
                 
EBITDA from continuing operations (2)   $ 1,197,098     $ 1,299,708     $ 798,906     $ 941,399  
EBITDA margin of continuing operations (2)   51.3 %   54.3 %   25.8 %   29.8 %
                 

(1) We reclassified $31.0 million of supplies expense from its own financial statement line to other expenses for fiscal year 2018 to conform to the current year presentation.
(2) See "Non-GAAP Financial Information" for a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures.



TAX OPERATING DATA            
Year ended April 30,   2019   2018   % Change
             
U.S. Tax Returns Prepared: (in 000s) (1) (2)            
Company-Owned Operations   8,033     8,186     (1.9 )%
Franchise Operations   3,583     3,633     (1.4 )%
Total H&R Block Assisted   11,616     11,819     (1.7 )%
             
Desktop   1,969     2,031     (3.1 )%
Online   6,012     5,502     9.3 %
Total H&R Block DIY   7,981     7,533     5.9 %
             
IRS Free File   665     613     8.5 %
Total H&R Block U.S. Returns   20,262     19,965     1.5 %
             
International tax returns prepared: (in 000s)            
Canada   2,465     2,423     1.7 %
Australia   747     757     (1.3 )%
Other   142     187     (24.1 )%
Total international returns   3,354     3,367     (0.4 )%
Tax returns prepared worldwide   23,616     23,332     1.2 %
             
Net Average Charge (U.S. only): (3)            
Company-Owned Operations   $ 231.60     $ 241.41     (4.1 )%
Franchise Operations (4)   216.61     210.63     2.8 %
DIY   32.59     32.28     1.0 %
             

(1) An assisted tax return is defined as a current or prior year individual tax return that has been accepted and paid for by the client, including Tax Pro GoSM and Tax Pro ReviewSM returns.  Also included are business returns, which account for less than 1% of assisted tax returns. A DIY return is defined as a return that has been electronically filed and accepted by the IRS. Also included are online returns paid and printed.
(2) Amounts have been reclassified between company-owned and franchise operations for offices which were refranchised or repurchased by the company during the year.
(3) Net average charge is calculated as tax preparation fees divided by tax returns prepared. For DIY, net average charge excludes IRS Free File.
(4) Net average charge related to H&R Block Franchise Operations represents tax preparation fees collected by H&R Block franchisees divided by returns prepared in franchise offices.  H&R Block will recognize a portion of franchise revenues as franchise royalties based on the terms of franchise agreements.


    Three months ended April 30,   Year ended April 30,
NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURE - EBITDA   2019   2018   2019   2018
                 
Net income - as reported   $ 877,909     $ 1,142,927     $ 422,509     $ 613,149  
Discontinued operations, net   6,860     3,037     22,747     13,760  
                         
Net income from continuing operations - as reported   884,769     1,145,964     445,256     626,909  
                 
Add back:                
Income taxes of continuing operations   249,810     85,057     99,904     41,823  
Interest expense of continuing operations   21,837     22,270     87,051     89,372  
Depreciation and amortization of continuing operations   40,682     46,417     166,695     183,295  
    312,329     153,744     353,650     314,490  
                 
EBITDA from continuing operations   $ 1,197,098     $ 1,299,708     $ 798,906     $ 941,399  
                 
EBITDA margin from continuing operations (1)   51.3 %   54.3 %   25.8 %   29.8 %
                 
    Three months ended April 30,   Year ended April 30,
Supplemental Information   2019   2018   2019   2018
                 
Stock-based compensation expense:                
Pretax   $ 5,759     $ 4,889     $ 23,767     $ 21,954  
After-tax   4,492     4,551     19,418     20,571  
Amortization of intangible assets:                
Pretax   $ 18,757     $ 20,418     $ 73,218     $ 79,883  
After-tax   14,630     19,007     59,819     74,850  
                 

(1) EBITDA margin from continuing operations is computed as EBITDA from continuing operations divided by revenues from continuing operations.


NON-GAAP FINANCIAL INFORMATION

The accompanying press release contains non-GAAP financial measures.  Non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. Because these measures are not measures of financial performance under GAAP and are susceptible to varying calculations, they may not be comparable to similarly titled measures for other companies.

We consider our non-GAAP financial measures to be performance measures and a useful metric for management and investors to evaluate and compare the ongoing operating performance of our business.

We may consider whether significant items that arise in the future should be excluded from our non-GAAP financial measures.

We measure the performance of our business using a variety of metrics, including EBITDA from continuing operations and free cash flow. We also use EBITDA from continuing operations and pretax income of continuing operations, each subject to permitted adjustments, as performance metrics in incentive compensation calculations for our employees.

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