February 18, 2010 / 9:36 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 3-Intuit raises full-year outlook, shares rise

* Boosts full-year revenue, profit forecasts

* Says gaining market share in tax preparation software

* Q2 EPS ex-items 38 cents vs 32 cents Wall Street view

* Q2 revenue $837 mln vs $814 mln Street view

* Shares rise 6 pct in extended trade (Adds analyst comment, updates shares)

By Jim Finkle

BOSTON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Intuit Inc (INTU.O) raised its full-year earnings forecast and said sales of its TurboTax tax preparation software will likely beat its previous expectations, sending its shares up 6 percent.

Chief Executive Brad Smith said TurboTax sales are growing at a quick clip as it gains market share from rival H&R Block Inc (HRB.N) on the version that runs on personal computers, and as customers switch from a version that runs on PCs to a more expensive one that they can access over the Web.

“We had planned on taking market share. We are actually being more successful at that than we had built into our forecast,” Smith said on a conference call.

Officials with H&R Block could not be reached for comment.

Intuit said it now expects full-year revenue to grow between 3 percent and 6 percent to $3.3 billion to $3.4 billion. It had previously targeted growth of 4 percent to 8 percent.

It expects TurboTax revenue will rise 8 percent to 12 percent this year. It previously projected 5 percent to 9 percent growth.

Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Sasa Zorovic said that the company had succeeded in both parts of the tax preparation market — versions that run on personal computers and ones that customers access over the Web.

“The fact that they gained some market share on the desktop helped, but they are doing a very good job transitioning people over from the desktop to the Web,” he said.

The company issued the projections as it released quarterly results. Profit excluding items was 38 cents per share for its fiscal second quarter ended Jan. 31, compared with the average analyst forecast of 32 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 8 percent from a year earlier to $837 million, above the analysts’ average forecast of $814 million according to Reuters Estimates.

Federal TurboTax unit sales were up 11 percent from a year earlier at 10.97 million units as of Feb. 13.

Sales of the tax software’s Web-based version, which brings in more revenue per unit, climbed 23 percent. Shipments of its desktop version for personal computers dropped 1 percent.

Intuit’s second-quarter net income rose to $114 million, or 35 cents per share, from $85 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

Shares of the Mountain View, California-based company rose to $32.18 in extended trade from their Nasdaq close of $30.32. (Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Richard Chang, Bernard Orr)

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