Intuit's fiscal Q2 earnings look good heading into tax season

While its fiscal second quarter revenue was good, Intuit acknowledged it could have been better if it weren't for a few delays involving the IRS.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

With tax season well underway, Intuit published its earnings report for the second fiscal quarter after the bell on Thursday.

The small business and accounting software provider reported fourth quarter earnings of $71 million, or 23 cents a share (statement). Non-GAAP earnings were 33 a share on a revenue of $968 million.

Intuit added the caveat that revenue was adjusted -- and would have been 10 percent higher -- due to an estimated shift in tax revenue from the second to the third fiscal quarter due to late legislation and Internal Revenue Service delays.

Wall Street was expecting Intuit to report fiscal second quarter earnings of 30 cents a share on revenue of $963.2 billion.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company also released its first of three season-to-date updates for its fiscal year 2013 consumer tax offerings.

While TurboTax Online sales jumped by 32 percent annually in early February, total TurboTax federal units have been down 7 percent as of February 16 compared to the same period last year.

Dan Maurer, senior vice president and general manager of Intuit’s consumer group, reflected in prepared remarks:

As we've noted, the tax industry got off to a slow start in January. Since the Internal Revenue Service opened e-file on Jan. 30, we’ve seen strong momentum in TurboTax Online. We're confident that we're on track and we have an aggressive plan to win.

Intuit president and CEO Brad Smith added the "shift to digital solutions is the driving force behind the tax business as well."

While it is very early in the season, initial results from the first few weeks of February and early indicators are giving us confidence we're on track for the season and the fiscal year.

Quarterly shifts aside, we know about 140 million people will have to file taxes by April 15. And we've got a strong game plan to help tax filers keep more of their hard-earned money and receive expert advice when they need it

For the third quarter, traditionally Intuit's biggest, Wall Street was expecting earnings of $2.94 a share on revenue of $2.24 billion.

Intuit itself is projecting Q3 revenue of $2.215 billion to $2.275 billion, or growth of 15 to 18 percent, with non-GAAP earnings of $2.99 to $3.04 per share.

The company also reiterated full fiscal year revenue predictions of $4.55 billion to $4.65 billion, growth of 10 to 12 percent, but updated non-GAAP earnings forecasts to $3.40 to $3.46 per share.

More highlights from Intuit's fiscal Q2:

  • Payment Solutions revenue grew by 18 percent. Card transaction volume grew 10 percent, which was attributed to customer acquisition in Intuit's GoPayment mobile payment solution.
  • Small Business Group revenue grew 16 percent, or 11 percent excluding Demandforce.
  • 45 million of Intuit's 60 million customers are using the company's hosted solutions.
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