H&R Block Inc HRB
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 03/07/2013

Operator: Good afternoon, and welcome to the H&R Block Fiscal 2013 Third Quarter Earnings Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. My name is Rose and I will be facilitating the audio portion of today's broadcast.

It is now my pleasure to turn the call over to your host, Mr. Derek Drysdale, Vice President of Investor Relations. Go ahead, sir.

Derek Drysdale - VP, IR: Thank you, Rose, and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us today to discuss our fiscal 2013 third quarter results. Joining me on the call are Bill Cobb, our President and CEO and Greg Macfarlane, our CFO. Other members of our senior management team will be available during the Q&A session. They included Jason Houseworth, President, U.S. Client Services; Amy McAnarney, President of U.S. Retail Client Services; and Susan Ehrlich, President of Financial Services.

In conjunction with this call, we have posted today's press release and slide presentation on the Investor Relations website at

Some of the figures that we'll discuss today are presented on a non-GAAP basis. We've reconciled the comparable GAAP and non-GAAP figures in the schedules attached to our press release and in the appendix of today's slide presentation.

Before we begin our prepared remarks, I'd like to remind everyone that this call will include forward-looking statements as defined under the securities laws. Such statements are based on current information and management's expectations as of this date and are not guarantees of future performance. Forward-looking statements involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. As a result, our actual outcomes and results could differ materially.

You can learn more about these risks in our Form 10-K for fiscal 2012 and our other SEC filings. H&R Block undertakes no obligation to publicly update these risk factors or forward-looking statements.

With that, I'd now like to turn the call over to Bill.

William C. Cobb - President and CEO: Thanks, Derek, and good afternoon, everyone. Earlier today, we released our U.S tax return volumes through February 28, as well as our fiscal 2013 third quarter earnings ended January 31. Obviously, there is a lot of noise this tax season, but we want you to walk away with three key points.

First, the entire tax industry has experienced unprecedented delays this season which has created near impossible comparisons to last year's results through January 31 and February 28. We believe that industry-wide tax filings are running about two weeks behind the comparable period last year and we expect that will take the balance of the season for the industry to fully normalize.

That said the great thing about our business is that taxpayers must file by April 15. We continue to believe that industry filings this tax season will grow in line with historical levels of approximately 1% to 2%.

Second, we entered the season with a very thoughtful plan and while we've had to make some adjustments due to these delays and competitive factors, I am pleased with our execution to-date. We noticed that many competitors substantially increased their marketing in December and January.

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