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.
Getty Images
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.

Contact Earnings


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.
    › Learn More