Intuit grew revenue by 12% but light on outlook

Intuit grew its quarterly revenue significantly, but the bar has been raised for the next two quarters.

Intuit managed to squeeze out better-than-expected revenue for the first fiscal quarter of 2013, but the outlook for next quarter fell short.

The financial management solutions provider reported a fiscal first quarter net loss of $19 billion, or six cents a share (statement). But revenue equaled $647 million, up 12 percent on an annual basis, with a non-GAAP loss of six cents per share.

Wall Street was expecting Intuit to report a fiscal first quarter loss of six cents a share on revenue of $629.2 million.

The small business group, in particular, saw a big bump last quarter with an 18 percent increase in revenue, including payment solutions revenue growth of 21 percent.

Citing connected services and mobile products as chief priorities, CEO Brad Smith commented in prepared remarks that approximately half of Intuit's mobile customers are "new to the franchise":

We’re off to a strong start in fiscal year 2013. We grew first-quarter revenue 12 percent, and we’re reiterating our guidance of double-digit top-line and bottom-line growth for the full fiscal year. While we’re not completely insulated from the challenges of the macro-environment, we have proven to be resilient, and we continue to execute against principles that guide us through tough times.

For the outlook, Intuit is predicting a revenue of $1.02 billion to $1.04 billion at the end of the second fiscal quarter with non-GAAP earnings between 40 to 43 cents a share.

But Wall Street is expecting a profit of 59 cents a share on revenue of $1.1 billion. The profit pop is due to the beginning of tax season for the quarter ending January 31. Intuit's biggest quarter is its fiscal third quarter, which ends April 30.

For the third fiscal quarter, Intuit is projecting revenue to fall between $2.155 billion and $2.215 billion with non-GAAP earnings between $2.78 and $2.83 per share.

Once tax season is over, Intuit's estimates drop significantly. For the fourth fiscal quarter, Intuit is aiming for revenue of $728 million to $748 million with non-GAAP earnings of 12 to 14 cents per share.

For fiscal 2013 overall, Intuit's forecast is a revenue of $4.55 billion to $4.65 billion, which would equal growth of 10 to 12 percent. Non-GAAP earnings are projected to fall within the range of $3.32 to $3.38 per share, up by 12 to 14 percent.

For anyone looking to get a jump start on tax season, Intuit announced that TurboTax desktop products for tax year 2012 will go on sale in retail stores and be available for download on November 23. TurboTax Online will be available December 3.

Key points from Q1 FY 2013:

  • QuickBooks Online grew to more than 20,000 paying customers outside the United States.
  • The subscriber base for Demandforce, which was acquired in May, grew by more than 60 percent.
  • Card transaction volume grew 11 percent, which was attributed to the customer acquisition in Intuit’s GoPayment mobile payment solution.