UPDATE 3-H&R Block Q1 loss wider than expected, shares dip

viernes 4 de septiembre de 2009 18:50 CEST

* Q1 loss from cont ops $0.39 vs est $0.37

* Sees lower tax returns filed for coming season

* Sees closing 300 traditional stores

* Stock falls 3 pct (Adds analysts' comments, background; updates stock activity)

By Anurag Kotoky and Brenton Cordeiro

BANGALORE, Sept 4 (Reuters) - H&R Block Inc (HRB.N: Cotización) posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday, hurt by higher expenses in tax services segment, and said it expects tax returns filed to fall about 1 to 2 percent in the coming tax season.

Shares of the largest U.S. tax preparer fell 3 percent.

The Kansas City, Missouri-based company said it would close about 300 traditional offices prior to the tax season and added it has no plans to open a "significant" number of new stores this year.

"I think the employment rates are driving lower returns... Only when you see an improvement in the job picture, you will see an improvement in tax returns filed," Northcoast Res analyst Kartik Mehta said.   Continuación...