This Intuit Hunch May Pay Off

After a big setback, the Quicken maker takes to the Web

A year ago, Intuit Inc. announced that it would shift its focus from personal-finance software packages to Internet services. That so discouraged Claudia Carpenter, the top designer of the company's flagship Quicken program, that she took a three-month leave of absence. Intuit's stock was in a slump, too, trading in the 20s--down from a high of 84 in November, 1995. It looked like the end of the company's glory days as the No.1 maker of personal-finance software. "Oh God!" Carpenter remembers thinking. "Where are we going now?"

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