Accounting software provider Intuit Inc. narrowed its fiscal fourth-quarter loss from a year earlier, boosted by strong performances from its QuickBooks and Consumer Tax businesses.

For the company's 2006 fiscal year, ended July 31, Intuit saw double-digit growth in revenues and earnings per share, according to a statement from president and chief executive Steve Bennett. For fiscal 2006, profits rose 9 percent, to $417 million, and sales rose 15 percent, to $2.34 billion.

The company also noted that its 2006 fiscal year was the first year in which Intuit recorded an expense for employee stock options. Total employee stock-based compensation expense was approximately $71.4 million for the full year.

Among its specific product lines, compared to fiscal 2005:

  • QuickBooks-related revenue grew 14 percent, to $861.7 million.
  • Consumer Tax revenue grew 25 percent, to $710.5 million.
  • Intuit-Branded Small Business revenue of $251.5 million was up 9 percent.
  • Professional Tax revenue increased 3 percent, to $272.9 million.
  • Revenues from other businesses, including Quicken and Canada, was up 13 percent, to $245.7 million.

Intuit issued a mixed forecast for the new fiscal year, estimating that its profits could be below the current average of analysts' estimates on stronger-than-anticipated revenue. For fiscal 2007, the company is targeting revenues of $2.53 billion to $2.58 billion.Bennett said the company had good prospects for the next few years and that he expects Intuit's small-business and consumer tax preparation products to drive the company's prospects in 2007.

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