I can't say I'm surprised by Mr. Market's reaction to Intuit's (NASDAQ:INTU) earnings release and call: a 10% slide in the stock. After all, Mr. Market doesn't take kindly to any sort of "disappointment" when it comes to guidance that doesn't measure up to its happy-joy level.

And that appears to be Intuit's sin. Well, here's the scope of the sin. I'm paraphrasing here, but Intuit basically said, "Hey, you know, TurboTax isn't selling like hotcakes in the retail channel, or at least not as hot as we'd hoped. We think we'll do about $2.30 a share next quarter."

Mr. Market promply spit his chai-cappu-double-caffeine-half-skimfat-cafe-mocha-cino all over his Brooks Brothers button-down and responded, "But . we were expecting $2.32!"

Never mind that Intuit already gave Mr. Market $0.02 more than he was expecting for this quarter. For that 0.8% might-not-even-happen shortfall, Mr. Market is whacking Intuit shares by 10% today. Does that make sense to you? Me, neither. But remember, in the short term, Mr. Market is a moron.

Let's take a look at the rest of what we've got. Intuit's growth engine looks like it's churning along nicely to me. As I mentioned in my Fool By Numbers roundup, a timing shift in Intuit's tax software revenue juiced growth there, but overall revenue growth still ticks in at a decent 9%. QuickBooks revenue was up a stronger 16%, and that in the face of competition from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

The thing about Intuit is that, unlike other tax-time wonders such as H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) or Jackson Hewitt (NYSE:JTX), it's got a fairly light, software-centered cost structure. It doesn't cost a whole lot more to distribute a gazillion tax packages compared to say, a gagillion. Imagine the labor you need to add to service people in person, and you see what I'm getting at.

In fact, Intuit's GAAP earnings are expected to increase several percentage points more than revenues, so what's the worry? Well, again, Mr. Market is edgy, and tossing even a tiny bit of cold water on the all-important tax season is going to send him shivering.

Personally, I'd be more concerned about the 59% drop in free cash flow for the first half of this year, as compared to last year. Net income from continuing operations was about the same, so the culprit looks to be a slew of changes in operating assets and liabilities that tagged cash flow for -$138 million this year vs. -$60 million last year. Often, these timing issues have a way of working themselves out over the course of the year. Sometimes they don't. I think Intuit investors can probably afford to stay calm in the face of today's tempest in a teapot, but keep an eye on that cash flow to make sure there aren't real waves on the horizon.

For further intuition on Intuit:

Intuit and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. If you'd like a look at other cash cows before the market realizes what it's missing, a free trial is available.

Seth Jayson still does his taxes with a box o' Crayolas. At the time of publication, he had shares of Microsoft but no positions in any other company mentioned here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here . Fool rules are here .