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Shares of Intuit Inc. (INTU - Free Report) , a business and financial software company, have been performing well of late.

If you haven’t taken advantage of the share price appreciation yet, its time you hold the stock in your portfolio as it looks promising and is poised to carry the momentum ahead. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 14.1%.

Estimates Northbound

Estimates for Intuithave moved up in the last 30 days, reflecting the optimistic outlook of analysts. The earnings estimates for fiscal 2018 and 2019 have gone up in the last 30 days.

For fiscal 2018, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings has gone up by 1 cent in the last 30 days and is pegged at $4.97. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2019 also moved north by 3 cents to $5.58.

Positive Earnings Surprise History

Intuit outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, recording an encouraging positive average earnings surprise of 37.5%.

Ahead of the Industry

Intuit stock has gained 32.1% year over year, outperforming 31.2% rally of the industry it belongs to.

Upbeat Q1

Intuit delivered stellar first-quarter fiscal 2018 results. The company reported non-GAAP income (excluding stock-based compensation, amortization and other one-time items) from continuing operations of 11 cents per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 5 cents.

This tax-preparation related software maker reported revenues of $886 million, which came ahead of management’s guided range of $840-$860 million and also outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $855 million. On a year-over-year basis, revenues were up 13.9% primarily owing to better-than-expected growth in QuickBooks Online and ecosystem along with new and improved products.

Strong Guidance

For the second quarter, the company anticipates revenues in a range of $1.160-$1.180 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at $1.12 billion. The company anticipates reporting non-GAAP earnings in the band of 31-34 cents per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at 31 cents per share.

For fiscal 2018, the company still expects revenues of $5.640-$5.740 billion, representing an increase of 9-11% year over year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at $5.69 billion. Non-GAAP earnings per share are projected between $4.90 and $5.00, up 11-13%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate currently is pegged at $4.96 per share.

Valuation

On the valuation front too, the stock looks attractive. The company currently trades at a forward P/E multiple of 30.5x, significantly lower than the industry’s average of 56.2x. The ratio, which is obtained by dividing a stock’s current market price with its historical or estimated earnings, measures how much an investor needs to shell out per dollar of earnings. Therefore, the lower the P/E of a stock, the better it is for a value investor.

Growth Drivers

We are positive about Intuit’s growing SMB exposure and believe that its strategic acquisitions will boost the segment. Increased adoption of its cloud-based services and products is another positive.

The company has also restructured business to focus on the QuickBooks services. It expects to continue investing in this portfolio, which might hurt near-term profitability.

However, stiff competition from payroll solution providers such as Paycom Software Inc. (PAYC - Free Report) and Automatic Data Processing (ADP - Free Report) is a concern, especially considering the seasonality of Intuit’s tax business and the ongoing economic uncertainty.

A better-ranked stock in the broader technology include NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

NVIDIA has a long-term EPS growth rate of 11.2%.

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