Intuit smashes Q3 expectations after good tax season, but outlook worsens

Wall Street was expecting earnings of $2.74 cents per share with $2.15 billion in revenue.

(Image: Intuit)

The busiest time for taxes is over. And Intuit, the tax preparation software company, must've enjoyed every second of it -- even if we hated it.

For Intuit's fiscal third quarter, the company reported income of $906 million, or $1.78 cents per share (statement). On a non-GAAP basis, earnings were $2.85 cents per share on top of revenue of $2.2 billion.

Wall Street was expecting earnings of $2.74 cents per share with $2.15 billion in revenue.

So that's a hit on both earnings and revenue.

Intuit president and chief executive Brad Smith said the company exceeded its targets for the quarter. He added:

"We achieved our goals in our tax business, increasing growth in the do-it-yourself software category, acquiring and retaining more customers and expanding our market share. With these strong results, we've increased our revenue outlook for the full year. Our performance continues to inspire our entire organization and sets us on a path to finish the year on a very strong note.

TurboTax Online grew by 13 percent during tax year. QuickBooks Online subscribers grew by 55 percent, totaling 965,000 paying subscribers worldwide. Meanwhile, its consumer tax revenue grew by 4 percent.

The company said it took a $263 million impairment hit, which it says knocked its earnings for the quarter by almost a dollar. The charge was due to its shift in bill payment strategy in its Consumer Ecosystem Group.

But things aren't looking so great for the final quarter of the year.

For the current fourth quarter, Intuit expects a far deeper loss of 10 cents to 12 cents per share, on revenues of between $720 million and $745 million.

Wall Street was looking for a loss of 4 cents per share and $728.4 million in revenue.

Despite the poor outlook, Intuit shares went up a few notches in after-hours trading.

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