Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of H&R Block Inc. (NYSE:HRB) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “H&R Block’s divestiture of the bank unit involves certain one-time charges and also led to short-term revenue decline and margin contraction. H&R Block is exposed to employment related lawsuits in various parts of the country and compliance fee litigation in Missouri state and federal courts. Such litigations weigh on investor sentiment and hamper the company’s goodwill. Unfavorable foreign currency translation remains another headwind. With respect to its earnings performance, the tax preparer has posted negative surprise in three of the last four quarters owing to the seasonality of its tax business. Also, the Zacks Consensus Estimate did not witness any revisions for both fiscal 2017 and 2018, over the last 30 days. However, the company remains focused on expanding its client base and lowering operating costs through stringent cost-cutting initiatives to drive future growth.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Morgan Stanley reissued a buy rating and set a $26.00 price target on shares of H&R Block in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on H&R Block from $23.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued a market perform rating on shares of H&R Block in a report on Thursday, September 1st. BTIG Research reissued a neutral rating on shares of H&R Block in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. Finally, Macquarie started coverage on H&R Block in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They set an outperform rating and a $28.00 price target for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $28.99.

Analyst Recommendations for H&R Block (NYSE:HRB)

Shares of H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) traded up 1.38% during trading on Friday, reaching $23.47. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 456,404 shares. H&R Block has a 12 month low of $19.18 and a 12 month high of $37.35. The firm has a market cap of $5.14 billion, a PE ratio of 15.88 and a beta of 0.58. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $22.78 and its 200 day moving average price is $22.65.

H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 30th. The company reported ($0.55) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.53) by $0.02. H&R Block had a negative return on equity of 202.63% and a net margin of 11.58%. The business had revenue of $125 million for the quarter. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned ($0.35) earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that H&R Block will post $1.73 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 3rd. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 5th will be issued a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 1st. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.80%. H&R Block’s payout ratio is currently 52.69%.

In other news, SVP Gregory J. Macfarlane purchased 4,618 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 1st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $21.65 per share, for a total transaction of $99,979.70. Following the completion of the acquisition, the senior vice president now owns 121,707 shares in the company, valued at $2,634,956.55. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 1.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in HRB. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. increased its stake in shares of H&R Block by 27.1% in the second quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. now owns 460,642 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,595,000 after buying an additional 98,355 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of H&R Block by 9.7% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 314,717 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,239,000 after buying an additional 27,784 shares during the period. Eqis Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of H&R Block by 12.6% in the second quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 13,012 shares of the company’s stock valued at $299,000 after buying an additional 1,453 shares during the period. Guinness Asset Management Ltd increased its stake in shares of H&R Block by 66.4% in the second quarter. Guinness Asset Management Ltd now owns 324,038 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,453,000 after buying an additional 129,360 shares during the period. Finally, Lucus Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of H&R Block during the second quarter valued at approximately $346,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.06% of the company’s stock.

About H&R Block

H&R Block, Inc (H&R Block), through its subsidiaries, provides tax preparation and other services. The Company provides assisted income tax return preparation, digital do-it-yourself (DIY) tax solutions and other services and products related to income tax return preparation to the general public primarily in the United States, Canada, Australia and their respective territories.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:HRB

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