Tax and payroll preparation specialists H & R Block Inc (NYSE:HRB) shares added nearly 10% on Wednesday as it posted strong fourth quarter results.
The firm posted EPS (earnings per share) of $3.76 after the bell Tuesday, up from $3.16 in the same three months in 2016.
Analysts had expected a figure of $3.53.
The group also increased its quarterly dividend by 8 cents to 24 cents a share, which is about a 3% return based on the current share price.
For the fiscal year to end April, there was a 10% improvement in net income from continuing operations to $421 million and an increase in earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.43 to $1.96, largely due to cost cutting measures.
""We came into this year with a very aggressive goal to change the client trajectory. With competitive promotions, impactful marketing and an improved client experience, we achieved this goal and also produced strong financial results, all during a year in which the industry experienced a decline in returns," said Bill Cobb, H&R Block's president and chief executive officer, who is leaving at the end of July.
"I couldn't be more proud of our team who delivered these impressive results."