H&R Block Inc reported a quarterly profit for the first time in two years on Monday.
The Kansas City, Missouri-based tax preparation firm's net income was $543.6 million, or $1.66 per share, compared with a loss of $85.6 million, or 26 cents, a year ago.
Earnings from continuing operations were up 21 percent to $454.5 million, or $1.39 per share, compared to $474.3 million, or $5.15 per share a year earlier. The firm's revenue was up 10 percent to $2.6 billion.
H&R Block also boosted its annual dividend by 3 cents per share to 60 cents. It also announced a $2 billion share repurchase program.
While we are not providing earnings guidance beyond fiscal 2009, we are confident that for the three-year horizon through fiscal 2011, we can realize significant gains in earnings per share through unit growth, greater efficiency in our tax and other operations, and capital deployment, rather than relying solely on annual price increases for growth, said Alan Bennet, Interim Chief Executive Officer in a statement.
During the quarter, the company sold its Option One loan-servicing unit to WL Ross & Co. for $1.1 billion.
The company said that its retail clients rose by 3.8 percent in the U.S., while international clients grew by 6.1 percent.
Shares of H&R Block were up 94 cents, or 4.51 percent to $21.76.