Intuit cuts Q2 outlook, says tax season off to slow start

Tax preparation across all channels is developing slower than expected and that means Intuit's revenue and operating profit is being pushed out from the second quarter to the third quarter.

Intuit said its second quarter profits would be lower than expected due to a slow start to the tax season.

The company, which caters to small businesses but makes most of its profit during tax preparation season, said its revenue will be between $1.01 billion and $1.05 billion with non-GAAP earnings of 24 cents a share to 25 cents a share.

Wall Street was expecting non-GAAP earnings of 36 cents a share on revenue of $1.06 billion.

According to Intuit, tax season is "forming more slowly than usual," but revenue will wind up shifting to the third quarter. Intuit didn't flag competition from H&R Block, which is using IBM's Watson platform to prep taxes.

Intuit explained that consumer tax revenue is recognized as returns are filed. Data from the IRS indicates that tax preparation across all channels is slow and down 33 percent based on total returns processed through January 27.

For fiscal 2017, Intuit stuck to its forecast of non-GAAP earnings of $4.30 a share to $4.40 a share on revenue of $5 billion to $5.1 billion, up 7 percent to 9 percent from a year ago.

IBM Watson can now do your taxes for you: