After market close on Thursday, Intuit (INTU 1.05%) reported strong fiscal first-quarter results. The financial software company's revenue increased 15% year over year, and non-GAAP (adjusted) earnings per share jumped 41% over the same time frame. Intuit's top and bottom lines both beat management's own guidance and analysts' forecasts.

The company's online ecosystem revenue, or revenue from its online small-business and self-employed software, continued to be its primary growth driver.

Here's a closer look at the results.

A small business owner using QuickBooks Online on a laptop

QuickBooks Online. Image source: Intuit.

Intuit's first-quarter results


Q1 2020

Q1 2019



$1.165 billion

$1.016 billion






EPS = earnings per share. Data source: Intuit's first-quarter earnings release. 

Intuit's fiscal first-quarter revenue rose 15% year over year to almost $1.17 billion. This was ahead of management's guidance for revenue between $1.105 billion and $1.125 billion. In addition, it beat analysts' consensus forecast for $1.12 billion. Highlighting Intuit's strong momentum, the company's year-over-year revenue growth rate was in line with the 15% growth Intuit saw in its prior quarter.

Growth was fueled by a 35% year-over-year increase in online ecosystem revenue. Breaking down some of the key catalysts here, QuickBooks Online saw a 41% year-over-year increase in revenue during the quarter; and momentum in QuickBooks Online payroll and QuickBooks Online payments helped drive a 27% year-over-year increase in online services revenue.

Profitability was particularly strong for the company -- besides the 41% jump in non-GAAP EPS, GAAP earnings per share increased even more sharply, up 69% year over year to $0.22.

Intuit spent $139 million repurchasing shares during the quarter, down from the $561 million it used to buy back shares in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. The tech company has $2.5 billion left in its share repurchase authorization.

Looking ahead

Despite a stronger-than-expected quarter, management left its outlook for the full year of fiscal 2020 unchanged.

Intuit expects revenue during the period to be between $7.44 billion and $7.54 billion, representing 10% to 11% year-over-year growth. It forecast non-GAAP EPS for the period to increase 8% to 10%.

For its fiscal second quarter specifically, it expects revenue to increase 11% to 13% year over year and non-GAAP EPS to be between $1.00 and $1.03. This compares with $1.00 in the second quarter of fiscal 2019. Analysts on average were expecting fiscal second-quarter non-GAAP EPS of $1.15.

"As we look forward to the upcoming tax season, we're focused on applying the learnings from the last year, including extension season, to deliver even better experiences for our customers," CEO Sasan Goodarzi said in the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings release.