Shares of Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU) surged to record highs on Friday after the accounting software firm reported better than expected revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter. Intuit owes much of its success to QuickBooks Online, an automated accounting system with millions of global subscribers.

 

Q4 Earnings Summary

  • Earnings (adjusted): -$0.09 per share
  • Revenue: $994 million
QuickBooks Online now has 4.5 million customers worldwide, including 1.3 million outside the United States.

Intuit generated $994 million in sales for its fiscal fourth quarter ended July 31, far outpacing forecasts calling for $961 million. The Mountain View, California-based company posted a quarterly operating loss of $153 million, which translated into a non-GAAP loss of $0.09 per share.

Intuit was profitable in fiscal 2019, earning $1.9 billion in operating income. Revenues rose 13% to $6.8 billion.

While Q4 is a traditionally weak quarter for the company, its global subscription base continues to grow. QuickBooks Online now has 4.5 million customers worldwide, including 1.3 million outside the United States. QuickBooks Self-Employed subscribers also topped 1 million.

The company is investing heavily into artificial intelligence to improve the end-user experience, according to CEO Sasan Goodarzi.

“We continue to prioritize online services to deliver more value for our customers by addressing their biggest pain in our points. We’re working to achieve our vision of being the center of Small Business growth by helping our customers get paid fast, manage capital and pay employees with confidence,” he said during the earnings call Thursday afternoon.

For the current quarter, Intuit’s midpoint guidance is $0.24 in per-share earnings on revenue of $1.115 billion. For the entire fiscal year, the company expects per-share earnings to rise 12% to $7.55. Revenues are projected to climb 10% to $7.49 billion.

 

INTU Stock Surges

The strong earnings report catapulted Intuit’s share price to record highs on Friday, extending an already stellar 2019. INTU peaked near $293 on Friday, having gained more than 6%. The stock has added more than 50% year-to-date, far outpacing the Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P 500’s information technology index.

At current values, Intuit has a total market capitalization of $76.3 billion.

Intuit also rewards shareholders with dividend payments. The stock yields 0.66%, with an annualized payout of $1.88 per share. The company has been a dividend grower for the past eight years.

 

Conclusion

Intuit’s strategy of becoming an AI-driven platform appears to be working, as evidenced by the growing popularity of its online accounting software. The company says it expects “online ecosystem revenue” to grow more than 30%. For investors, this means higher recurring revenue, which guarantees stable, predictable income.

Disclaimer: Author holds no investment position in Intuit at the time of writing.

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