H&R Block, Inc. engages in the provision of tax preparation and other services. It offers assisted and do-it-yourself tax return preparation solutions through multiple channels and distribute the H&R block-branded financial products and services, including those of its financial partners, to the general public primarily in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The company was founded by Henry W. Bloch and Richard A. Bloch on January 25, 1955 and is headquartered in Kansas City, MO.
Changes in applicable tax laws may have a negative impact on the demand for and pricing of our services, which could adversely affect our business and our consolidated financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.
Increased competition for tax preparation clients could adversely affect our current market share and profitability. Offers of free tax preparation services could adversely affect our revenues and profitability.
Compliance with the complex and evolving laws and regulations regarding privacy and data protection could require changes in our business practices and increase costs of operation; failure to comply with such laws could result in significant claims, fines, penalties, and damages.
A security breach of our systems, or third-party systems on which we rely, resulting in unauthorized access to personal information of our clients or employees or other sensitive, nonpublic information, may adversely affect the demand for our services and products, our reputation, and financial performance.
Stolen identity refund fraud and other fraud could impede our clients' ability to timely and successfully file their tax returns and receive their tax refunds, and could diminish consumers' perceptions of the security and reliability of our products and services, resulting in negative publicity. Increased governmental regulation to attempt to combat fraud could adversely affect our revenues and profitability.
An interruption in our information systems, or those of our franchisees or a third party on which we rely, or an interruption in the internet, could have a material adverse effect on our business and our consolidated financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.
The Dodd-Frank Act created the CFPB to administer and, in some cases, enforce U.S. federal financial consumer protection laws and expanded the role of state regulators with respect to consumer protection laws. Regulations promulgated by the CFPB or other regulators may affect our financial services businesses in ways we cannot predict, which may require changes to our financial products, services, and contracts.
The nature of our tax service and product offerings requires timely product launches. Any significant delays in launching our tax service and product offerings, changes in government regulations or processes that affect how we provide such offerings to our clients, or significant problems with such offerings or the manner in which we provide them to our clients may harm our revenue, results of operations, and reputation.
We rely on a single vendor or a limited number of vendors to provide certain key services or products, and the inability of these key vendors to meet our needs could have a material adverse effect on our business and our consolidated financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.
The specialized and highly seasonal nature of our business presents financial risks and operational challenges, which, if not satisfactorily addressed, could materially affect our business and our consolidated financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.
We face legal actions in connection with our various business activities, and current or future legal actions may damage our reputation, impair our product offerings, or result in material liabilities and losses.
Our access to liquidity may be negatively impacted as disruptions in credit markets occur, if our credit ratings are downgraded, or if we fail to meet certain covenants. Our funding costs may increase, leading to reduced earnings.
The continued payment of dividends on our common stock and repurchases of our common stock are dependent on a number of factors, and future payments and repurchases cannot be assured.
Our businesses may be adversely affected in the event of difficult economic conditions, in particular, high unemployment levels.
Our business depends on our strong reputation and the value of our brands.
Failure to protect our intellectual property rights may harm our competitive position and litigation to protect our intellectual property rights or defend against third party allegations of infringement may be costly.
Failure to maintain sound business relationships with our franchisees may have a material adverse effect on our business and our consolidated financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.
Our international operations are subject to risks which may harm our business and our consolidated financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.
We may be adversely impacted by changes in corporate tax rates, the adoption of new tax legislation in the jurisdictions in which we operate, and exposure to additional tax liabilities.
RISKS RELATING TO DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS
Sand Canyon Corporation, previously known as Option One Mortgage Corporation (including its subsidiaries, collectively, SCC) is subject to potential contingent losses related to representation and warranty claims, which may have an adverse effect on our business and our consolidated financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. SCC has in the past accrued, and may in the future accrue, an estimated liability related to these contingent losses, which may not be adequate.
SCC is subject to litigation and other claims, including potential contingent losses related to securitization transactions in which SCC participated as a depositor or loan originator, which may result in significant financial losses.
H&R Block has guaranteed the payment of certain limited claims against SCC.
We could be subject to claims by the creditors of SCC.
(2) See "Non-GAAP FInancial Information" at the end of this item for a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures.
Revenues increased $5.2 million, or 3.6%, from the prior year period. U.S. assisted tax preparation fees increased $1.9 million, or 6.1%, primarily due to higher off-season tax return volumes, slightly offset by lower net average charge.
International revenues increased $1.4 million, or 3.6%, primarily due to higher Australian tax preparation fees, offset by unfavorable exchange rates.