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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of H&R Block (NYSE: HRB ) took it on the chin today, just one day after the tax prep powerhouse reported a steep decline in reported earnings for the fiscal first quarter of 2012.
So what: Revenues came in at $268 million, about $7 million short of estimates. The really bad news, though, was that H&R lost $0.57 per share -- versus the $0.40 loss Wall Street had told us to expect.
Now what: Scary? Sure, but most of this accounting disappointment resulted from a non-cash charge. It also leaves H&R with $362 million in trailing earnings (for about an 11 P/E) and $401 million in actual free cash flow (roughly a 10 P/FCF ratio). For a company expected to grow at 10% per year over the next five years, and that pays its shareholders a 4% annual dividend to boot, I have to say -- that looks awfully cheap.
Will investors ultimately agree that H&R Block is a bargain? Add it to your Watchlist and find out.