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H&R Block stock price
H&R Block latest news:
H&R Block shares slide 8%; management declines to offer update of plans on earnings call
Shares of H&R Block Inc. slid 8% Wednesday to lead S&P 500 decliners, after the tax preparer failed to offer a full update of strategy or plans for the 2018 tax season on its earnings conference call. The company late Tuesday posted a slightly wider-than-expected loss for its fiscal first quarter. H&R Block said it lost 63 cents a share, against a 62 cents-a-share consensus. Revenue rose 10% to $138 million, primarily on increased U.S. assisted tax preparation fees and revenues from the company's Peace of Mind service plan. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected sales of $129 million. The first quarter typically represents less than 5% of annual revenues and less than 15% of annual expenses. Interim CEO Thomas Gerke welcomed new CEO Jeff Jones, who was appointed last week to take the helm in October. But he said the company's strategy remains unchanged, and declined to offer detailed guidance for the next tax season. Analyst Jeffrey Silber at BMO Capital Markets said the numbers were in line in a seasonally light quarter. "We would not read too much into these results," he said in a note late Tuesday. Shares have gained about 17% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained about 10%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
U.S. stock market opens little changed after upbeat GDP, jobs data
U.S. stock-index benchmarks kicked off trade near break levels on Wednesday after a pair of upbeat economic reports, with a key employment report due Friday and the Labor Day holiday set to begin. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up 9 points, or less than 0.1%, at 21,870, the S&P 500 index traded flat at 2,446, and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.1% at 6,309. On the data front, the U.S. economy expanded at a 3% pace in the second quarter, a faster pace than had originally been reported, and the fastest rate in more than two years. Separately, ADP said private-sector employers added 237,000 jobs in August, well above the 185,000 that had been expected. In corporate news, Vera Bradley Inc. surged after it reported a first-quarter loss that was wider than expected. Sales also came in below forecasts, while shares of H&R Block Inc. look set for a down day after falling late Tuesday as the tax preparer posted. Overall trading was slightly more subdued as geopolitical tensions around North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile eased and investors watched Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm, continue to wreak havoc in Texas and Louisiana. Looking ahead, the market awaits a speech from President Donald Trump on tax reform at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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