Small Business Growth Narrows Loss for Intuit

Intuit Inc.’s INTU’s fiscal first quarter loss narrowed to a margin of 1.23% as it acquired Demandforce and recently sold assets, while posting improvements in its small business area.

In this current quarter, predictions showed an adjusted profit of 43 cents up from 40 cents. The revenue was projected to increase from $1.02 billion to $1.04 billion. According to Thomson Reuters, the profits were expected to be an estimated 59 cents and revenue, $1.1 billion.

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Intuit, the maker of TurboTax and QuickBooks, has changed the services it provides to small business and plans to create other higher-margin online services including managing customer relations.

Intuit also plans to expand globally and is widening its scope to create online tools for QuickBooks which would give customers social media access to improve customer service. Demandforce was acquired for $423.5 million for the purpose of providing mobile, social tools and email to assist small businesses with automating their communications and marketing.

When the quarter ended on October 31, Intuit’s loss was listed at $19 million or six cents per share. The previous year’s loss at the same date was around $64 million or just about 21 cents per share. The latest period shows income of 11 cents per share which comes from operations that were discontinued; whereas there was a loss of two cents per share one year ago. After stock-based compensation and other payouts are calculated, the loss from the continued operations was three cents per share. The previous year’s loss was eight cents per share. Revenue climbed 13% to $647 million.

In August, Intuit had forecasted a loss adjusted from six to seven cents per share and revenue adjusted from $630 million to $640 million.

The small business segment showed revenue increase from 18% to 21% in Intuit’s payments area. Demandforce show growth of 60% in its subscriptions and subscribers for QuickBooks Online increased 29%. Overall, these growths contributed to a 20% increase in Intuit’s financial management solutions business.

The TurboTax earnings showed a revenue drop of $36 million down from $41 million one year ago, since customers filed less extended returns during the 2011 tax year compared to one year ago.

The shares closed at $58.77 on Thursday and dropped by 17 cents after a few hours. For this year, the stock has increased by 12%.