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Dec

28

HR Block, from Tim Melvin

December 28, 2010 |

HR Block has almost as much cash as they do debt so they should survive. The question is how much business do they lose if they do not find a way to offer RAL's this tax season? Given the value of the franchise, I would be less than surprised to see this end up in a private equity portfolio by this time next year. Management has consistently made serious mistakes over the past few years. Tangible book value has fallen by half over the past five years. They still have a bank charter and the tax brand is viable. The dividend will provide some support, but I don't think i would be an excited buyer until about $7 a share. With reduced revenues form the lack of RALs and even a slight tick up in mortgage putback for old securitizations and the stock will get there. At that level somebody is going to make an offer for the company. Insiders own less than 5% so they would be powerless to stop an offer.

Scott Brooks writes:

HRB is middle/lower middle America's tax service. HRB got themselves in trouble a few years ago when they decided that they could get into the securities business and offer investments to their clients. They learned the hard way that's it's really really difficult to make a living on $2,000 IRA deposits.

The refund loans were a high priced, but desired service that their clients wanted and now the government, in it's usual nanny state method, has "protected these consenting adults" from making a decision that they deemed to be in their best interest to gain quicker access to money that they stupidly loaned to the government interest free in the first place.

As a side note to all this…..

This is a great example of how you get fleas when you lay down with dogs.

HRB needs the corrupt government system to enforce their idiotic nearly incomprehensible tax laws so that organizations like HRB can exist, and then when HRB get's big and powerful, the corrupt government that they have to support finds way to control them, via regulation, and ulitmately push them towards much lower profitability (how long can they be pushed?).

So the organization (the corrupt US Government Tax System) that is working towards their (HRB) demise is the exact same organization that they HRB) need to support to justify their existence.

The ultimate Catch-22.

Russ Sears writes:

It has been a few years, but personally they have lost the self help
software battle to TurboTax. I found the H&R software was full of
glitches and bugs with poor technical support model.

This despite the difficulties switching brands from one year to the
next. Like bank's checking account customers, they should have a lock on
repeat business. Besides having to re-enter data, they also should have
capitalized on familiarity with the software and superior customer
service by maintaining personal data in electronic format and all the
great benefits electronic version has over paper. Turbo Tax has built
this costumer loyalty into a nice little annual annuity with prices
rising with the tax savings potential and complexity.


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