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H&R Block jumps to all-time high as profit rises

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Shares of H&R Block Inc. jumped to an all-time high Wednesday, after the tax preparer said its fiscal fourth-quarter net income rose 37 percent as more people used its tax preparation services and its prepaid debit card.

Net income rose to $910 million, or $3.29 per share, in the three months ending April 30, compared with $664.3 million, or $2.42 per share, a year ago. Excluding discontinued operations, the company earned $3.36 per share. Revenue rose 16.5 percent to $2.56 billion.

Analysts expected adjusted earnings of $3.23 per share and revenue of $2.49 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

The company results for the fiscal year 2014 also beat analysts' expectations. H&R Block said net income rose to $475.2 million, or $1.72 per share, for the year compared with $433.9 million, or $1.58 per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 4.1 percent to $3.02 billion.

The company said revenue from each of its Emerald Prepaid MasterCards rose 13 percent from a year ago, as people reloaded them more often.

Shares of H&R Block, which is based in Kansas City, Missouri, rose $1.20, or 3.9 percent, to $31.93 in afternoon trading. Earlier, they rose to $32.50, which FactSet says was an all-time high for the stock.

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