I miss my Quicken program. I used to have it on my old computer, but when I updated to my current Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) model a few years back, I found that only Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Money software was installed (a package I find to be good, but slightly inferior). For some reason, I never got around to acquiring and installing my old friend (yes, I assign crony status to bits of assembled utilitarian source code... must get out of the house more often, I think). That's why I'm a bit misty-eyed as I cover the latest earnings report from the maker of my favorite financial record-keeper.

Intuit's (NASDAQ:INTU) third-quarter earnings report shows that the firm reaped $713 million in sales, a new historical high for it and a great jump of 12% compared to sales achieved last year in the same period. Unfortunately, earnings declined. On a dollar basis, third-quarter earnings decreased 10% to $264 million.

Diluted earnings per share were down 5% to $1.33 this year versus $1.40 last year (according to generally accepted accounting principles standards). A bit of context is in order here, however, since last year's earnings reflected a one-time event involving the divestiture of the company's Japanese operations, worth $0.34 per diluted share (from a pro forma viewpoint, EPS increased 14%).

However, the company proceeded to guide lower, predicting a net loss between $0.09 and $0.13 on a GAAP basis for the next quarter on revenue growth between 5% and 13% (pretty wide range there). In response, shares dropped over 9% in trading this morning, falling to $38 and change.

What I get from this is a dichotomy often seen on Wall Street: great revenue numbers but a so-so earnings picture. As mentioned, you can view the results with a pro forma filter and see an increase in EPS, and that's important to realize; however, with the somewhat glum guidance, I'm not necessarily sanguine on the company as an investment at this time. Looking through the release, one will see that the company's small business services segment and tax software products did well, and that is certainly a plus for longer-term value.

Still, the stock has been in a downtrend since Alyce Lomax examined the previous earnings results. Intuit's arch competitor, H&R Block (NYSE:HRB), might be a better play. I do love stock repurchases, though, and Intuit declared its intentions to buy back shares to the tune of $500 million over the next three years.

Well, I intuit one thing after finishing this story: I think I may want to head out and get a copy of Quicken... it's been far too long.

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned.