Intuit's Q3 revenue falls 8% as pandemic upends tax season

The third quarter is traditionally tax season and Intuit generally performs well above its average on sales of consumer tax software.

Intuit on Thursday delivered rocky third quarter financial results due to COVID-19's impact on small business customers and the extension of the IRS tax filing deadline to mid July. The third quarter is traditionally tax season and Intuit generally performs well above its average on sales of consumer tax software. 

But with the tax filing date moved to July, Intuit's Consumer Group took a sales hit and its overall revenue declined 8% year-over-year.

The personal and small business financial software maker reported a net income of $1.08 billion, or $4.15 per share. Non-GAAP earnings were $4.82 per share on revenue of $3 billion. Wall Street was expecting earnings of $5.48 per share with $3.34 billion in revenue.

The Mountain View, California-based company said total QuickBooks Online subscribers fell during the first half of the quarter. Consumer group revenue was down 15%.

However, the company saw strength in its small business and self employed unit. Intuit said revenue from its small business and self-employed group increased 11% to $1 billion. Small business online ecosystem revenue was up 28%. 

"During the first half of the fiscal year we grew total company revenue 14 percent, and we saw this momentum continue into the beginning of the third quarter," said Intuit chief executive Sasan Goodarzi. "However, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the IRS extending the tax filing deadline to July 15. This caused the timing of millions of tax filings to shift later in the season, resulting in total revenue declining 8 percent in the quarter. Additionally, the shelter-in-place directives negatively impacted small businesses who are facing loss of income and cash flow to pay employees and weather the storm."

Intuit didn't issue guidance for the current quarter. Wall Street is looking for revenue of $1.23 billion and earnings of 38 cents per share.