Intuit lowers Q2 outlook citing later tax season

Intuit says that tax prep season started six days later that last year, shifting tax revenue to the third quarter.

Personal and small business financial software maker Intuit said on Friday that a later than usual start to the tax season has shifted tax revenue to the company's third quarter.

Intuit reiterated full fiscal-year revenue and operating income guidance, and also raised its full year earnings per share forecast due to anticipated changes from recent US tax reform.

Intuit says that tax prep season started six days later that last year, as the Internal Revenue Service began accepting returns on January 29. The IRS is reporting that total returns processed through Februaru 2 are down 10 percent and self-prepared e-files are down 7 percent compared with last year. Intuit's processed consumer tax returns are also down 6 percent for that same period.

"Every tax year is different and this year is no exception with the IRS opening its doors six calendar days later than last year," said Dan Wernikoff, EVP and GM of Intuit's TurboTax business. "Beyond this timing creating a late forming tax season, we are confident in our plan, combining our intuitive DIY offer for those with simple returns and our TurboTax Live offer for those that want some assistance."

As for the numbers, Intuit expects second quarter revenue from $1.16 billion to $1.17 billion, down from its previous forecast for $1.16 billion to $1.18 billion, but still above market estimates for $1.15 billion. The company's earnings per share estimate for Q2 is now in the range of 34 cents to 35 cents, up from the previous range of 31 cents to 34 cents a share.

Non-GAAP operating income is expected to be between $115 million and $120 million, down from a range of $130 million to $140 million. For fiscal 2018, Intuit expects non-GAAP EPS from $5.30 to $5.40, up from the prior range of $4.90 to $5.00.

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