H&R Block (HRB) is a hard stock to get a read on. It’s a highly seasonal business, doing the lion’s share of its revenue around the April tax deadline each year. It is also a highly cyclical business, because fewer people with jobs means fewer people with any income to pay taxes on.
But it just so happened that the last several months conspired to benefit HRB: Mild but continued improvement in the jobs market, some recovery in housing leading to more potential write-offs for homeowners and sadly the complicated tax shenanigans on Capitol Hill amid the “fiscal cliff” kerfuffle.
Many more folks were confused about how to file in April, and that led to brisk business for H&R Block.
Whether or not that sticks, however, is hard to read since there is so much time between now and next tax season.