Intuit Inc.‘s (NASDAQ : INTU) third-quarter earnings release showed a company firing on all cylinders. The financial software company saw a 15% increase in revenue, 12% higher operating income, and 45% growth in Quickbooks Online subscribers on a year-over-year basis. Topping it all off, Intuit raised its guidance for fiscal 2018 full-year revenue, to a 12% to 14% year-over-year increase in the key metric.
But there’s more for investors to glean from Intuit’s business than the numbers in the company’s earnings release. During Intuit’s third-quarter conference call, management gave investors further insight. Here’s what management said about two of the company’s up-and-coming catalysts.
TurboTax Live is a hit
Last November, Intuit launched TurboTax Live, a virtualized, personalized professional service to help users file their taxes. The service aims to help Intuit better appeal to the approximately 90 million people who get expert advice each year when filing their returns with the IRS.
The market for professional help with tax returns is big, giving investors reason to be optimistic about TurboTax Live’s potential. But is the service performing well?
Intuit CEO Brad Smith weighed in on TurboTax Live’s performance during the third-quarter conference call: “Feedback from the nearly 2,000 pros and the many customers they served reinforced our confidence that TurboTax Live has the potential to be transformative to our consumer business in the years to come. It opens up the $20 billion assisted tax prep category, and it provides us with an opportunity to grow our dollar share while increasing our average revenue per return.”
Asked whether TurboTax Live was successful enough for Intuit to accelerate its marketing for the service, Smith responded: “I want to be cautious not to give too much of next year’s game plan away. But what I will say is we are confident enough, we’re going to put our foot on the gas with TurboTax Live.”
The priority for Turbo is customer acquisition
Another financial service Intuit recently launched is Turbo — an entirely new app to help consumers get a better idea of where they stand financially. Turbo is “the first and only financial service that brings together the three numbers that matter most: verified IRS-filed income, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio, into a first-of-its-kind financial health profile,” Intuit said about the new service when announcing it in January.
Management has said that as it grows Turbo’s customer base, it will be able to turn the service into a profit center through targeted affiliate marketing and customized financial offers based on the unique combination of financial data. But management said customer acquisition is still the priority right now:
[W]e are seeing a very nice monetization strategy with the half a dozen partners we have now. And they’re seeing very nice conversion rates on the qualified leads, which gives us a reason to lean in if we look ahead to next year. But I would say the priority right now is more active users and customers.
Smith said Turbo’s monetization will get more attention as the company heads into next year.
Intuit’s early success with TurboTax Live and Turbo shows how the company can continually strengthen and expand its software-as-a-service offerings, adding new customers and deepening relationships with existing ones. Though both TurboTax Live and Turbo will need more time to transform into meaningful catalysts for Intuit, they certainly look promising — and they bode well for Intuit’s ability to add more services in the future.
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