H&R Block Shares Climb After Tax Preparer Boosts Dividend 10%

H&R Block Inc., the biggest U.S. tax preparer, jumped in extended trading after boosting its quarterly dividend.

The shares climbed 6.8 percent to $23 at 4:42 p.m. in New York. H&R Block will increase its quarterly dividend by 10 percent to 22 cents a share, and bought back more than 20 percent of outstanding shares in its 2016 fiscal year, the Kansas City, Missouri-based company said late Thursday in a statement.

The tax preparer cleared the way for dividends and share buybacks by selling its banking unit to BofI Holding Inc. and exiting Federal Reserve oversight, a move it had been working on for years. Net income for fiscal 2016 fell 21 percent to $384 million from a year earlier, and revenue dropped 1.3 percent to $3.03 billion, due to lower return volume, according to the statement.

“We are committed to arresting the client decline and ultimately achieving client growth,” Chief Executive Officer Bill Cobb said in the statement. “And having divested H&R Block Bank, we’ll execute against those plans with the right capital structure.”

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