Liberty Tax Inc (NASDAQ:TAX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Liberty Tax, Inc. provides tax preparation services. Its principal operations are conducted through its subsidiary, JTH Tax, Inc. The company engages through its subsidiaries as a franchisor and operator of a system of income tax preparation. It facilitates its customer refund-based tax settlement financial products, such as refund anticipation loans, electronic refund checks, and personal income tax refund discounting. The company also offers online tax preparation services and finance to franchisees for the purchase of franchises, clusters of territories, company?owned stores and for working capital and equipment needs. Liberty Tax Inc., formerly known as JTH Holding, Inc., is headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. “

Liberty Tax (NASDAQ:TAX) opened at 14.55 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $201.97 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.72 and a beta of 0.75. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $14.27 and a 200 day moving average price of $13.71. Liberty Tax has a 12 month low of $9.95 and a 12 month high of $16.19.

Liberty Tax (NASDAQ:TAX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, March 8th. The business services provider reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.10 by $0.09. Liberty Tax had a net margin of 9.04% and a return on equity of 17.31%. The company had revenue of $48.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $44.28 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.34 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 9.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Liberty Tax will post $1.30 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 24th. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 12th were given a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, April 10th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.40%. Liberty Tax’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 53.33%.

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Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. FMR LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Liberty Tax during the fourth quarter worth $143,000. Palladium Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Liberty Tax by 3.0% in the first quarter. Palladium Partners LLC now owns 11,542 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $165,000 after buying an additional 334 shares during the period. Acadian Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Liberty Tax by 41.5% in the first quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 20,198 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $288,000 after buying an additional 5,919 shares during the period. Cornercap Investment Counsel Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Liberty Tax by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. Cornercap Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 24,120 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $323,000 after buying an additional 645 shares during the period. Finally, Two Sigma Investments LP boosted its stake in shares of Liberty Tax by 55.3% in the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 48,828 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $654,000 after buying an additional 17,391 shares during the period. 40.12% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Liberty Tax Company Profile

Liberty Tax, Inc is the holding company for JTH Tax, Inc The Company is a provider of tax preparation services. The Company provides retail federal and state income tax preparation services and related tax settlement products in the United States and Canada. The Company’s tax preparation services and related tax settlement products are offered primarily through franchised locations.

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