Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Intuit Lowers Quarterly Outlook Due to a Delayed Tax Season 'We Are Simply Adjusting the Timing, Not Our Expectations,' Company Says

Ana Prior for the Wall St Journal writes: Intuit Inc. INTU +1.78% lowered its fiscal second-quarter outlook, saying a late start to tax season will shift tax revenue and per-share earnings to the third quarter.
The tax software company on Tuesday noted the Internal Revenue Service didn't begin accepting tax returns until Jan. 31, which is expected to shift about $120 million to its third quarter.
While the date of the IRS e-file opening has varied from year to year, it has been increasingly delayed beyond mid-January, Intuit said, adding that the reasons for the delay include the passage of late tax legislation, late budget and debt agreements and, specific to this tax season, the 17-day government shutdown last fall.
As such, Intuit said it expects to report second-quarter adjusted earnings of a penny to two cents a share and revenue of $775 million to $780 million, compared with the company's November forecast for per-share earnings of 25 cents to 27 cents and revenue of $890 million to $910 million.
Still, the company reiterated its fiscal-year outlook.
"We are simply adjusting the timing, not our expectations," said Sasan Goodarzi, general manager of Intuit's Consumer Tax Group.
Intuit is slated to release second-quarter results and the first of two season-to-date updates for its consumer tax products and services on Feb. 20.
The maker of TurboTax do-it-yourself software last year sold its financial-services division and its health division to focus on the company's core tax operations. Despite a lackluster 2013 tax season, Intuit's consumer-tax segment had grown faster than its ancillary businesses.
The company in November reported its fiscal first-quarter loss narrowed as Intuit benefited from double-digit revenue growth and gains from the sale of those two business segments.