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Intuit (INTU) Hits 52-Week High: What's Driving the Stock?

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Share price of Intuit, Inc. (INTU - Free Report) rallied to a new 52-week high of $298.78, eventually closing a tad lower at $219.47 on Sep 3. The stock has rallied 39.1% year to date, substantially outperforming the 26.2% gain of the industry it belongs to.

The stock price momentum can be attributed to consistent results. We note that the company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, delivering an average positive surprise of 41.3%.

Intuit reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 earnings of 32 cents per share, which came in much better than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 24 cents. The strong earnings performance was driven by revenues of $988 million, which also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $953 million and increased 17.3% year over year.

For fiscal 2019, Intuit expects revenues of $6.53-$6.63 billion, representing an increase of 8-10% year over year. Non-GAAP earnings per share are projected between $6.40 and $6.50.

Currently, Intuit carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company has a market capital of $56.30 billion and a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 16%.



What’s Backing the Rally?

Intuit is benefiting from solid growth in subscriber base of QuickBooks Online (QBO), which is driving its Small Business & Self-Employed segment, the major revenue contributor. In the last reported quarter, Online ecosystem revenues grew 43%, which led to a 20% year-over-year improvement in Small business revenues.

We note that strong adoption of QBO across domestic, international and self-employed sub-segments has been a tailwind. Notably, the company expects to add more subscribers in fiscal 2019 compared with fiscal 2018.

Moreover, Intuit with its QuickBooks Online Advanced is now starting to cater to an expanded group of customers, which include the mid-market or enterprise space, thereby leading to a new revenues stream.

Additionally, solid growth in Intuit’s TurboTax Live offering is driving its Consumer business segment. On the last earnings call, management mentioned that in fiscal 2018, TurboTax Live led to 10% increase in acquisition of customers compared with the standard TurboTax Online offering.

Management is highly optimistic about the opportunities in TurboTax Live offering and expects its business to expand beyond tax with Turbo and Mint offerings.

We therefore expect these factors to help sustain stock momentum.

Stocks to Consider

A few better-ranked stocks in the same industry are Aspen Technology (AZPN - Free Report) , Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) and CommVault Systems (CVLT - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rate for Aspen, Microsoft and CommVault is currently projected to be 16.5%, 12.3% and 15.8% respectively.

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