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Earnings and Outlook Roundup

H&R Block loss is expected to widen

December 12, 2007|From Times Wire Services

H&R Block Inc., the nation's largest tax preparer, delayed its fiscal second-quarter earnings report to give its new auditors time to review the numbers.

But the company said it expected a much larger loss as its mortgage business continued to drag it down.

A preliminary report said that H&R Block expected a net loss of $502.3 million, or $1.55 a share, for the quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with a loss of $156.5 million, or 49 cents, during the same period a year earlier.

Of that loss, $366.2 million, or $1.13 a share, came from the company's discontinued operations, including much of its Option One Mortgage Corp., which has suffered as borrower defaults have increased and credit markets have dried up.

H&R Block shares fell 65 cents, or 3.3%, to $19.30.

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