What Is Intuit’s Most Promising Long-Term Opportunity?

Earlier this week, Intuit’s (Nasdaq: INTU) CEO Brad Smith announced plans to step down after eleven years at the helm. He will exit by the end of the year. During his tenure, Brad has turned around the company from a desktop software provider to a leading cloud-based accounting and taxation subscription service provider. Last quarter results were no different as the company outpaced all market expectations.

Intuit’s Financials

Intuit’s fourth quarter revenues grew 17% to $988 million, significantly better than its guidance of $940-$960 million and the market expectations of $953 million. Non-GAAP EPS also surged 60% to $0.32 and outpaced the Street’s forecast of $0.23. This was the fourth consecutive quarter that Intuit’s earnings outpaced market expectations.

During the quarter, Services and Other revenues grew 25.9% to $666 million, and product revenues increased 2.9% to $322 million.

By segment, Small Business and Self-Employed Group revenues grew 20% to $805 million driven by 43% growth in subscribers for Quickbooks Online. Intuit ended the quarter with more than 3.4 million subscribers to the service. For the quarter, Self-Employed subscribers increased to 720,000 from 390,000 a year ago. Among other metrics, Desktop ecosystem revenues grew 7%, while desktop units fell 7% in the quarter.

By region, the US-based subscribers of QuickBooks Online grew 38% to 2.6 million, and international subscribers increased 62% over the year to 800,000.

Intuit ended the year with revenues growing 15% to $5.96 billion. It recorded an operating income of $1.21 billion, or $4.64 per share.

For the current quarter, Intuit expects revenue of $955-$975 million, falling short of the Street’s expectations of $983 million. But the miss in revenues is attributed to a change in the accounting standards being adopted by Intuit. It expects non-GAAP operating income at $30-$40 million and an EPS of $0.09-$0.11.

For the current year, Intuit forecast revenues of $6.53-$6.63 billion with a Non-GAAP EPS of $6.40-$6.50. The Street was looking for revenues of $6.56 billion.

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