Shares of Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) were up slightly this morning after the company reported solid results in its seasonally weak first quarter. The maker of software for individuals and small businesses said that sales grew 14% on a year-over-year basis to $242.5 million, and its net loss decreased slightly to $54 million. On a per-share basis, though, net loss actually widened by a penny to $0.27, as the company bought back 2.2 million shares during the quarter.

Intuit saw solid sales growth across its product lines. Most notably, sales at the company's small business unit grew 22% to $123.1 million, and the vertical business segment grew 40% to $26.3 million.

This time of year, however, is usually light for Intuit -- relatively speaking, that is. Intuit's real strength begins in the second quarter, as the company's TurboTax and professional tax business kick into high gear for tax season. For the second quarter, Intuit expects to earn $0.63 to $0.68 per share, as revenues grow 10% to 15% year over year to between $615 and $640 million.

TurboTax sales -- which contributed a mere $5.2 million in the first quarter -- are expected to jump 20% to 30% year over year to between $114 and $124 million in the second quarter, representing significant upside. The company said that tax-law changes could bring more complexity to tax preparation, which in turn could give an extra boost to sales. Such a trend stands to benefit not only Intuit but also its main rival in the tax-software space, H&R Block (NYSE:HRB), maker of TaxCut software. Intuit also expects a rebate program to push TurboTax sales into the nearer term from the third quarter.

Looking ahead, Intuit reiterated full-year earnings guidance of $1.57 to $1.67 per share, on revenues between $1.85 billion and $1.95 billion. The stock has rebounded from taxing times, and the year is just heating up. But at 30 times this year's earnings, the stock doesn't provide much in the way of a margin of safety.

Talk TurboTax on the Intuit discussion board -- only at Jeff Hwang can be reached at