With the big news that Intuit's (NASDAQ:INTU) CEO and CTO are both stepping down at the end of the year, it's easy to overlook the company's fourth-quarter results. As the two executives get ready to head out the door, Intuit posted expectation-crushing numbers, including strong double-digit growth in both its small-business and self-employed segment and its consumer segment.
To understand just how strong Intuit's fourth quarter was, here are five must-see metrics that capture the company's impressive momentum.
1. Revenue up 17%
Intuit's revenue climbed from $842 million in the year-ago quarter to $988 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. This represents 17% year-over-year growth -- a notable acceleration from 15% revenue growth in Q3.
Revenue easily beat both management's guidance and the consensus analyst estimate for the key metric. Management had guided for fourth-quarter revenue to be between $940 million to $960 million, representing 12% to 14% year-over-year growth. Analysts, on average, had expected revenue of about $953 million.
2. Non-GAAP EPS up 60%
Non-GAAP earnings per share also crushed both management's guidance and analyst estimates.
Forecast for non-GAAP earnings per share had been between $0.22 and $0.24 while the consensus analyst estimate for the metric was $0.23. But actual non-GAAP EPS was $0.32, up 60% year over year. Intuit's GAAP EPS of $0.18 also similarly beat management's guidance by a long shot. Management had forecast EPS to be between $0.04 and $0.06.
Intuit's upside in profitability was driven by better-than-expected revenue and a significant jump in the company's operating margin. Non-GAAP operating margin was 10.5%, up from 9.2% this time last year.
3. QuickBooks Online subscribers up 43%
Year-over-year growth in Intuit's QuickBooks Online subscribers of 43% during the quarter was a slight deceleration from the 45% growth in Q3, but still very strong. This played a key role in Intuit's online ecosystem revenue rising 43% year over year, which was an acceleration from the 41% online ecosystem revenue growth in Q3.
4. Small-business and self-employed group revenue up 20%
This was a meaningful acceleration from 16% year-over-year growth for the segment in Q4. The strong performance benefited from growth in QuickBooks Online, payroll, and payments.
5. Consumer revenue up 15%
Intuit's consumer revenue increased 15% year over year, in line with the impressive year-over-year growth rate the segment achieved in Q3. Accelerated momentum in the second half of the year for the consumer segment, fueled by excellent performance during the tax season, helped the segment's full-year revenue growth come in at 14% -- easily beating management's initial guidance for consumer revenue to rise 7% to 9% year over year.
"One year into our focus on the One Intuit Ecosystem, our results affirm that our strategy is working and is positioning the company for durable growth," said soon-to-be former Intuit CEO Brad Smith in the press release.