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IRS delay bites into H&R Block earnings, revenue

H&R Block is blaming a delay in the opening of the Internal Revenue Service's e-file system for a huge shortfall in its third-quarter revenue.

"For the second consecutive year we've seen a late start to the tax season, resulting in the majority of our business occurring in the fiscal fourth quarter," the company said in a statement on Thursday.

"Given the seasonal nature of our business, the focus remains on our performance for the full year."

Tax preparer, left, helps a woman at an H&R Block office in San Francisco.
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Tax preparer, left, helps a woman at an H&R Block office in San Francisco.

H&R Block posted third-quarter revenue of $200 million, and said another $277 million of revenue is being "shifted" into the fourth quarter as a result of the delay.

The company's third-quarter loss came in at a whopping 77 cents per share, versus analysts' expectations for a loss of 11 cents per share.

(Read more: 7 tech tools to make tax prep less frustrating)

It is uncertain how analysts will compare these numbers to the consensus Thomson Reuters estimate of $519 million in revenue, but any way you add it up revenue did fall short of estimates.

Bottom line: Even with the IRS delay, H&R Block's results most likely came in shy of estimates. The question is by how much did H&R Block miss.

H&R Block shares dropped as much 2 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement.

—By CNBC's Juan Aruego.

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