It was one year ago that Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation Cendant (NYSE:CD) spun off the U.S.'s No. 2 tax preparation specialist, Jackson Hewitt (NYSE:JTX). Cendant received $770 million of proceeds, including a $307 million special dividend, and Jackson Hewitt has been reporting good results ever since. Now that the dust of the spinoff has settled, does the company present a good value?

To answer the value question, start by looking at the balance sheet. Before the spinoff, Jackson Hewitt had no debt, $5.3 million in cash, and a $144 million note due from Cendant (of which $131.9 million was the special dividend to Cendant).

Yesterday, after the market closed, Jackson Hewitt reported record revenue, higher operating margins, a cash balance of $113.3 million, rising net income for the 2005 fiscal year, and a 14% increase on the quarterly dividend to $0.08 a share. Although the company does have $175 million in debt, it has enough cash and cash flow to be considered very healthy.

Look carefully at the fourth-quarter results, in which the April 15 income tax filing deadline falls, and you will notice that net profit margin fell from 39.5% during last year's fourth quarter to 38.2% in this year's fourth quarter. While sales rose 7.7% for the quarter compared with last year, operating expenses rose 11.4% -- not a robust situation.

It is difficult to tell whether the company met analyst estimates of $1.38 a share for the quarter. The company reported $1.44 in fully diluted earnings, but this boils down to an adjusted diluted earnings of $1.35 per share because of a "refund anticipation loan" for its Santa Barbara Bank & Trust unit.

It will be easier to analyze Jackson Hewitt's results next week when industry No. 1 H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) reports its numbers for the peak tax season. But at Inside Value recommendation Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU), its peak tax season revenue increased 20% and net income increased 14%, blowing away Jackson Hewitt's numbers.

Value, of course, is based on prices. With an adjusted diluted earnings of $1.21 for fiscal year 2005 (which ended April 30), Jackson Hewitt's stock is trading for 17.9 times trailing earnings. Analysts expect the company to grow earnings 20.0% a year for the next five years, handily beating the 10.5% expectation for the S&P 500.

Add it up. This is a company with a healthy balance sheet and a price-to-earnings ratio below the expected growth rate. Taxes are not expected to get any easier to file. At current prices, the stock represents, in this observer's opinion, a good value.

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Fool contributor W.D. Crotty does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. Click here to see The Motley Fool's disclosure policy.