Things keep getting better and better for Intuit
Why the loss? Consider the company's product lines.
TurboTax doesn't sell briskly until February, March, or even April, before the April 15 filing deadline. The company's flagship money management gem, Quicken, is an easier sell by year's end, when folks resolve to get their finances in order and budget for a better tomorrow.
The company's third core product, its QuickBooks suite of small-business accounting tools, is at its strongest when folks are cheery about the economy and want to don the warm, fuzzy hat of entrepreneurship.
But wait a minute. QuickBooks sales shot up by 55% during the quarter, helping the top line surge overall by 32% to $223.3 million. A lot of that comes from home-office users and small-business owners, who hadn't updated their software since Y2K compliance three years ago. Intuit also created enhanced versions, complete with enterprise solutions and remote access capabilities, which helped sales. And the recent wave of corporate downsizing has caused many to go into business on their own.
So Intuit expects sales to grow by at least 27% this fiscal year. Margins are set to expand, as profit growth is targeted at a healthy rate between 34% and 40%. It's no wonder the stock has bucked the technology trend.
Shares have been trending higher over the past two years, while the rest of the business-software market went the other way. With the stock trading at highs unseen since 2000, Intuit's not exactly an undiscovered stock. It's not exactly a bargain, either, at nearly 40 times earnings.
Don't dismiss the solid fundamentals. Just don't give in to the pricey euphoria.