Intuit Jumps as Cloud Shift Leads to Higher Revenue Forecast

  • Software provider says `momentum continues to accelerate'
  • Workday, Autodesk also pushing products to the Internet

Intuit Inc. shares jumped Friday after the maker of personal tax and accounting software forecast sales that may top estimates as it moves more of its products onto the Internet.

Revenue will be $880 million to $900 million for the fiscal second quarter, which will end Jan. 31, the company said Thursday in a statement. That exceeded analysts’ average estimate of $826.7 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Intuit anticipates adjusted profit of 17 cents to 20 cents a share in the period, compared with a projection of 5 cents.

Chief Executive Officer Brad Smith is pushing more of his products to customers over the Web as more consumers and small businesses adopt cloud-based services. Subscriptions to QuickBooks Online climbed 57 percent in the first quarter, Mountain View, California-based Intuit said.

“Our momentum in our cloud-based products continues to accelerate,” Smith said. “People are adopting the cloud much faster than I think most people out there in the market had anticipated.”

The company is recovering from a setback earlier this year when it alienated customers by changing the pricing of some of its widely used products and temporarily halting state-tax processing after its service was used to file a large number of fraudulent returns. Intuit unveiled plans earlier this year to sell three of its units to focus on core products.

Shares rose 5.9 percent to $103.20 at the close in New York, leaving them up 12 percent this year.

Sales during the period ended Oct. 31 rose 17 percent from a year earlier to $713 million. The net loss shrank to $31 million from $84 million.

For the current fiscal year, Intuit expects adjusted earnings of $3.45 per share to $3.50 per share. That compares with estimates of $3.43.

While investors were heartened by Intuit, other software companies didn’t fare as well. Workday Inc., which provides Web-based financial management and human-resources services, fell as much as 7.2 percent after forecasting sales that fell short of estimates, and Autodesk Inc., the maker of architectural and engineering design software, was little changed after projecting revenue for the current quarter that may miss analysts’ estimates.

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