H&R Block Posts Smaller Loss Than Analysts Estimated

H&R Block Inc., the biggest U.S. tax preparer, reported a fiscal second-quarter loss that was smaller than analysts estimated as expenses declined.

The net loss was $101 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with $123 million, or 41 cents, a year earlier, the Kansas City, Missouri-based company said today in a statement. Excluding some items, the net loss was 37 cents, compared with the 41-cent loss estimated by six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Expenses fell 9.9 percent to $302.3 million from the year-earlier period, and the company said it’s on pace to generate as much as $100 million of pretax earnings from cost cutting plans in fiscal 2013. H&R Block said in October it may drop its designation as a savings and loan after the Federal Reserve proposed rules requiring such firms to keep additional capital, according to a statement at the time.

The second-quarter results “reflect savings from our cost reduction initiatives and a strong tax season in Australia,” Chief Executive Officer Bill Cobb, 56, said in the statement.

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