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Archive for Saturday, November 2, 2002

Lawsuit worries send H&R Block stock down

November 2, 2002

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— H&R Block shares dropped 8 percent on Friday, with shareholders nervous about several lawsuits the tax preparer faces over its refund anticipation loans.

The New York Stock Exchange halted trading in Block shares from the opening bell until 12:19 p.m.

Block said it has not lost any of the more than 20 class-action lawsuits over the loans, which are made for a steep fee to taxpayers who expect a refund.

One of the lawsuits, in Texas, seeks $75 million, Block said. The case is scheduled for a jury trial Dec. 2, the company said.

Block "continues to believe that amounts that might be paid by the company for judgments or settlements in these cases will not have a material or adverse" effect on it finances, it said in a statement.

A proposed $25 million nationwide settlement of one of the cases in 1999 was appealed.

Block shares traded at $40.62 Friday afternoon, down $3.76.

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