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Intuit Earnings: What to Watch

Daniel Sparks, The Motley Fool

Financial software specialist Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) reports fiscal 2018 fourth-quarter results later this month.

Expectations for the period are high. Setting the stage for an impressive finish to fiscal 2018, management gave its revenue guidance for the year a significant boost. And adding further pressure for a good fiscal fourth quarter is the fact that shares of Intuit have risen 54% in the past twelve months and 34% year to date, crushing the overall market's returns.

Given the company's strong momentum recently, investors will be looking for Intuit to cap off its fiscal year with more double-digit revenue growth, higher non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) earnings per share, and growth in QuickBooks Online subscribers.

Can Intuit deliver?

QuickBooks Online, shown on a tablet

QuickBooks Online. Image source: Intuit.

Strong momentum

Intuit's fiscal 2018 third-quarter results were solid all around, featuring a 15% year-over-year increase in revenue, a notable acceleration in the revenue growth rate of its consumer group segment, and sharp growth in QuickBooks Online subscribers.

Metric

Year-Over-Year Growth

Total revenue

15%

Small business and self-employed revenue

16%

Consumer revenue

15%

QuickBooks Online subscribers

45%

Data source: Intuit third-quarter earnings release for fiscal 2018.

Considering this momentum, management now expects full-fiscal year revenue to be between $5.915 billion to $5.935 billion, for year-over-year growth of 14% to 15%. Management was previously expecting full-year revenue growth to be between 9% and 11%.

What's next?

For Intuit's fiscal fourth-quarter results, due to be released on Aug. 23, one key metric investors will want to look for in the update is Intuit's growth in "online ecosystem" revenue. This revenue -- from online business software and services like QuickBooks Online, payroll, and payments -- captures most of Intuit's fastest-growing products. In Intuit's fiscal third quarter, online ecosystem revenue growth was up 41% year over year, an acceleration from 39% growth in fiscal Q2.

While another quarter of accelerating growth for the metric is unlikely, it will be interesting if management can keep this growth around the levels of the previous two quarters. Management noted in the company's fiscal third-quarter earnings call that it continues to "expect online ecosystem revenue to grow better than 30%." But management's forecasts have proven to be conservative.

In addition, investors should look for more steep growth in QuickBooks Online subscribers. Management said it expects to finish the year with 3.350 million to 3.375 million QuickBooks Online subscribers, up 41% to 42% year over year.

For the fourth quarter, management guided for revenue between $940 million and $960 million, representing 12% to 14% growth year over year. In addition, management said it expects non-GAAP EPS for the period to be between $0.22 and $0.24, up from $0.20 in the year-ago quarter.

Intuit reports its fourth-quarter and full-year results for fiscal 2018 after market close on Thursday, Aug. 23.

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Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Intuit. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.