H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE:HRB) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Mar 06, 2018 • 04:30 pm ET


H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE:HRB) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day. My name is Ian and I'll be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the H&R Block Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Thank you.

And I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Colby Brown, VP of Finance and IR. Sir, you may begin.

Colby Brown

Thank you, Ian. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us to discuss our fiscal 2018 third quarter results. On the call today are Jeff Jones, our President and CEO; and Tony Bowen, our CFO. We posted today's press release on the Investor Relations website at hrblock.com.

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

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

At the conclusion of our prepared remarks, we will have a Q&A session. (Operator Instructions)

With that, I'll now turn the call over to Jeff.

Jeff Jones

Thank you, Colby. Good afternoon, everyone, and thanks for joining us. We're off to a strong start this tax season and I'm very pleased with our results. Before I jump into the details, let me outline the areas we'll cover on today's call. First, I'll give a brief update on our long-term strategy work. Next, I'll provide our perspectives on what we have seen in the industry, followed by our mid-season results. Then I'll talk about our expectations for the second half of the season. And finally, Tony will review our third quarter financial results and outlook for the fiscal year.

First, let me provide a few thoughts on our strategy. As we discussed on our Q2 earnings call in December, we're taking a fresh look at our long-term strategy. While we don't have specifics to share today, I can tell you that I've challenged the team to go deeper than we have in the past and to think differently about our business. And they're delivering. This work will allow us to make informed decisions about ways to continue to improve our assisted and DIY business and to position us for long-term sustainable growth. We expect to provide an update in late fall.

Turning to the overall industry performance, the latest results from the IRS showed decline in returns of 0.4% on a day-to-day basis through February 23. While better than last year, these results are fairly consistent with what we've seen in the years prior as it is typical to see year-over-year decline on a day-to-day basis at this point in the season.

Consistent with prior years, industry results from February show a shift from assisted to DIY. Early season filers are more likely to change tax preparation methods, so the shift in the early season is typically greater, and then moderates in the second half. Last year, the season ended with an assisted