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H&R Block

HRB is a tax preparation company founded in 1955 that provides assisted and DIY tax return solutions through a variety of channels, including in-person, online, mobile, and desktop software platforms. In addition to tax filing services, HRB offers related products such as refund transfers, refund advance loans, identity protection services, among other similar offerings, often in conjunction with its bank partner (BofI). Tax returns prepared by and through HRB totaled 23.3 mn in FY18 compared to 23.0 mn in FY17 and 23.1 mn in FY16. HRB filings accounted for ~14% of IRS individual income tax returns filed during the 2018 tax season, flat from the prior year. HRB uses a franchise model to expand in certain geographic areas and its franchisees pay ~30% of gross tax return preparation and related service revenues as a franchise royalty in the U.S. HRB primarily operates in the U.S. (86% of FY18 filings) and also has a presence in Canada (10%) and Australia (3%). (18 Sep 2018)

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US Inflation: Goods Inflation Is Back

Sector Analysis: 12 Dec 2018, 11:57 PM ET - Headline and core indexes both increased in line with expectations.  We highlight the first bought of YoY core goods inflation since 2016 and anecdotes of margin pressure from the most recent Beige Book.

US Employment: Modest Gains for Jobs & Wages

Sector Analysis: 09 Dec 2018, 9:01 PM ET - Payrolls and wages both took a step back in November.  We highlight this months employment data and discuss the possibility for manufacturing, construction, and mining employment to lead a 2019 deceleration in jobs growth.
Focused

H&R Block F2Q19: Pricing Strategies Unveiled

Earnings Note: 06 Dec 2018, 10:01 PM ET - H&R Block reported F2Q19 earnings and unveiled strategies for the upcoming 2019 tax season; new CEO Jones is focused on pricing, moving to an up-front model and reducing fees for some assisted filers in a bid to arrest volume declines.

US Income & Spending: Strong Start to 4Q Spending

Strategy Analysis: 30 Nov 2018, 4:37 AM ET - October consumer data delivered above expectations with strong real spending, solid income, and soft inflation.  We dig into the details and highlight strong growth in discretionary spending categories.

Consumer Pulse: Holiday Sales Update & More

Sector Analysis: 28 Nov 2018, 4:11 AM ET - Consumer holiday spending viewed through the e-commerce lens looks to be off to a strong start. The consumer economy has a mix of puts and takes, ranging from rising mortgage rates to falling prices at the pump.

US Employment: Almost Full, Keeps Eating

Strategy Analysis: 05 Nov 2018, 5:16 AM ET - Employment growth bounced back in October with a strong 250k print.  Wage growth hit a new high, but its gradual acceleration coupled with the strong job growth trend makes us question what full employment looks like.

US Productivity Is A Small Offset To Labor Costs

Sovereign Analysis: 02 Nov 2018, 5:38 AM ET - We break down 2 separate pieces of 3Q economic data that show while labor costs continue to rise, controlling for productivity growth gives a rosier picture. 

PCE Deflator: Steady in September

Worth Watching: 29 Oct 2018, 10:19 PM ET - PCE Deflator: The September income & outlays report showed another mild month for consumer price gains. The headline all-items index increased by 0.1% MoM, bringing the YoY rate to 2.0%, down from its July peak of 2.3%. The core PCE deflator (e ..

US GDP: Consumers Show Up Again

Strategy Analysis: 29 Oct 2018, 5:06 AM ET - 3Q US GDP beat expectations with a strong performance by the US consumer, inventory growth, and government spending offsetting weak trade, residential investment, and capex.

US Inflation: Consumer Prices Eke Out Another Gain

Strategy Analysis: 11 Oct 2018, 10:35 PM ET - The September consumer price index report showed weaker price gains than expected for the second consecutive month. 

US Strategy: What to Watch for on 3Q Earning Calls

Strategy Analysis: 11 Oct 2018, 4:37 AM ET - We surveyed our analyst teams for key sector level issues they will be paying close attention to with upcoming third quarter earnings calls beyond the typical sales, margins and earnings guidance. 

US Employment: 3.0% Wage Growth on the Horizon

Strategy Analysis: 05 Oct 2018, 12:24 PM ET - September nonfarm payrolls disappointed on the headline number, but under the surface, the report was solid.  Wages posted another strong gain and are just one tick away from the 3.0% YoY milestone.

US Income & Spending: Consumption Stays On Track

Strategy Analysis: 01 Oct 2018, 6:11 AM ET - The August income & spending report contained another solid reading for consumer spending, continued income growth, and modest inflation. We dig into the pricing environment for a few discretionary spending categories.

Specialty Finance: Barclays Conference Notes

Sector Analysis: 17 Sep 2018, 5:03 AM ET - We provide presentation write-ups for the slew of specialty finance companies represented at the Barclays 2018 Global Financial Services Conference this week; Ally, AmEx, CIT, Discover, iStar, and Navient.

Register Now: 2018 Global Financials Seminars

Announcement: 10 Sep 2018, 9:51 PM ET - Register for our upcoming fifth annual Global Financials Seminars.

US Employment: Finally, A Wage Growth Surprise

Strategy Analysis: 07 Sep 2018, 4:06 PM ET - The August employment report contained the long-awaited breakout in wage growth to a new cycle high. Payroll growth was also solid, and we highlight our outlook for it going forward.

US Income & Spending: Inflation Momentum Fading?

Strategy Analysis: 30 Aug 2018, 2:43 PM ET - July consumer spending and income increased largely as expected, providing a solid start to 3Q spending. The core PCE deflator hit the Fed’s 2.0% target. We highlight that the recent inflation data have cooled some from earlier this year.
Focused

H&R Block F1Q19: Offseason of Uncertainties

Earnings Note: 28 Aug 2018, 8:46 PM ET - H&R Block reported a slightly narrower YoY loss in the beginning of its offseason, with little new to report operationally or strategically; investors hoping for more clarity from new management will have to wait a bit longer. 

Interplay Between US Banks & Fed's Balance Sheet

Sector Analysis: 08 Aug 2018, 5:36 AM ET - In this note, we discuss the impacts of the Fed's balance sheet unwind on banks. We expect that U.S. banks will become the "natural buyers" of U.S. Treasuries not bought by the Fed, offsetting the impact on rates.

Car Rental: Crossroads or Figure 8?

Sector Outlook: 06 Aug 2018, 11:13 AM ET - We frame key issues ahead of Hertz/Avis earnings week. Will 2018 provide a pause to get more critical execution risks addressed ahead of secular/cyclical pressure ahead? Do they get a 1-year reprieve on residual risk surprises?

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