Mountain View, Calif. (Feb. 20, 2004) -- Buoyed by strong retail sales of its TurboTax software that offset weaker-than-expected sales for its flagship QuickBooks product, Intuit Inc. posted a 16 percent rise in second-quarter profits to $149.4 million for the period ended Jan. 31.

Revenues for the accounting software maker, based here, increased 14 percent, to $636.6 million, versus the same period one year ago. Intuit said second-quarter revenue of its retail TurboTax product, which spiked 36 percent to $130 million, helped offset slower-than-projected gains in QuickBooks, which, despite generating an 8 percent rise over its second quarter last year to $101 million, were below company projections of $110 million to $120 million during what has traditionally been one of the company’s strongest quarters.

Intuit attributed the sluggish unit numbers to a drop in lower-priced QuickBooks Basic and Pro units that was not offset by upgrades. As a result, Intuit said it will revise QuickBooks’ fiscal 2004 revenue projections from 0 to 10 percent. Meanwhile, revenues from its Professional Accounting Solutions unit were up 4 percent over the year-ago period, to roughly $157 million, but below the company’s 7 percent to 12 percent target growth rate.

-- WebCPA staff

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