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Wednesday, 26 November 2003
November 26, 2003 H&R Block, Inc. (HRB)
Hello Friends! It is almost Thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for. First, thankful for my family, my friends, the fact that I have a job and can take care of my family....well the list is quite long and I do not want to bore you. However, I AM thankful that you stopped by and visited this site. This is my hobby, I think I have some interesting ideas, and love the idea that I can share them with you! If you have questions about the site, email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com and I will try to get right back to you!

Looking through the lists of greatest gainers today, I came across H&R Block (HRB) and I think it deserves a spot on this website. As you probably know, according to money.cnn.com, HRB "...is a holding-company whose subsidiaries provide tax-related services, investment services through broker- dealers, mortgage services, personal productivity software, accounting and consulting services to business clients." HRB closed today at $53.41 up $4.01 or 8.12% on the day. I do not own any shares of HRB nor do any members of my family.

What sparked the move in this stock today was an announcement yesterday, reported on Dow Jones Business Wire, and reported by Yahoo.com, regarding 2nd quarter results. This came out yesterday after the market closed, so the market responded favorably today. For the first time apparently ever, HRB posted a profit in its 2nd quarter. You can imagine how seasonal the tax business is, and HRB usually loses money this period. Instead, for the quarter ended October 31, 2003, HRB reported net income of $10.4 mllion or $.06/share compared to last year's loss of ($37.3) million or ($.21)/share. As is often the case, the move occurred because EXPECTATIONS were lower, and HRB exceeded expectations. Analysts, according to the article, were looking for a loss of ($.06)/share instead of the profit of $.06!

Morningstar.com shows an excellent record of revenue growth recently with $1.6 billion in revenue in 1999, $2.4 billion in 2000, $3.0 billion in 2001, $3.3 billion in 2002, and $3.8 billion in 2003.

Earnings/share have grown steadily from $1.07/share in 1999 to the most recent $3.26 in the trailing twelve months.
Dividends have ALSO been improving each year from $.48/share in 199, the $.72 in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow was reported at $156 million in 2001 and has improved to $617 million in the trailing twelve months.

The balance sheet, as reported on Morningstar.com appears to be reasonably balanced with $1.2 billion in cash and $1.32 billion in other current assets compared with $1.7 billion i current liabilities and $1.05 billin in long-term liabilities. Hopefully, with the recent large growth in free cash flow, we will see some of the cash going towards paying down liabilities.

Looking for some valuation measurements on Yahoo.com "key statistics", we find that the market cap is a sizeable $9.52 billion. The trailing p/e is nice at 15.02 and the forward p/e is even nicer at 12.57. The PEG ratio is very pretty at 0.85 with a price/sales at 2.29.

This is NOT a small company as there are 178.28 million shares outstanding with 164.70 million of them that float. Currently, there are 8.49 million shares out short as of 11/10/03....representing 5.16% of the float or 8.18 trading days. This is a LOT of shares out short, and the steep price rise today, may very well be a demonstration of a lot of these pre-sold shares being covered by anxious shorts! (just my guess!) As noted, HRB does pay a dividend as an added bonus of $.80/share for a 1.62% yield. The last stock split reported on Yahoo was a 2:1 split in October, 1991.

Quite frankly, I like this stock a lot and may suggest it to my stock club. I am at my 25 position, self-imposed maximum, so I am not planning a purchase at this point in my trading account. However, with the dividend, cheap p/e, PEG under 1.0, and nice news, what is there NOT to like. Let alone all of those shares just WAITING to be bought in the form of shares out short.

Thanks again for stopping by! And like always, please consult with your investment advisor if you are interested in any stocks that are mentioned here. For any questions about this site, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com.

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 8:33 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

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