Intuit reported growth in its quarterly revenue for its second fiscal quarter ending January 31, but noted that the Internal Revenue Service’s late acceptance of itemized returns this tax season would push more of its revenue into the next quarter.

Despite the delays, Intuit’s revenue increased 5 percent to $878 million compared to the year-ago quarter. However, Intuit reported that the revenue from its consumer tax segment was down 6 percent over the comparable quarter last year. The company said it believes the decline was driven by a shift in revenue from the second fiscal quarter to the third fiscal quarter due primarily to taxpayers waiting longer to file their returns. Expected revenue growth for the fiscal year remains at 10 to 13 percent.

"We believe that later acceptance of tax returns will simply mean a shorter tax season as filers are getting started later,” said Intuit president and CEO Brad Smith in a statement. “This is supported by the unit growth acceleration we've seen in TurboTax Online in February. The move toward do-it-yourself digital tax solutions continues as a macro trend, and it basically comes down to staying laser focused on execution. All indications are that we're competing effectively for market share, and we have confidence in our game plan for the balance of the season."

The company reported that total units of the federal version of TurboTax rose 1 percent this season through February 12, and accelerated to 11 percent growth during the period from February 1 to February 12 compared to the comparable period a year ago.

Much of the increase was driven by sales of the online version of TurboTax, while sales of the packaged software declined.

Through Feb. 12, total TurboTax federal units were up 1 percent compared to the same period last year. Also through Feb. 12, TurboTax Online units were up 6 percent, while desktop units decreased 5 percent compared to the same period last year, Intuit reported.

TurboTax Online units surged in early February, growing 16 percent during the period from Feb. 1-12 versus the comparable prior-year period, and total federal units grew 11 percent in the same two-week span.

"We continue to see the tax season shifting out," said Dan Maurer, senior vice president and general manager of Intuit’s consumer group, in a statement. "That’s even more evident this year because the IRS didn’t begin accepting certain tax returns until mid-February. As we move into the full season, momentum is really picking up, driven primarily by strong online filing. These positive trends support our confidence that we will achieve the results we expected when we set our guidance for the year.”

Intuit also reported strong growth in its heavily marketed small business group, where the revenues grew 15 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. Within the small business group, revenue from financial management solutions increased 21 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

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