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Intuit Bets Big on AI

Posted on Friday, May 29th 2020

Cloud-based accounting and tax preparation software giant Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) recently announced its third quarter earnings. The global pandemic has hurt the smaller businesses most and with the US tax deadline being extended, the company’s revenues were hurt. But it still managed to surpass market expectations.

Intuit’s Financials

Revenues for the third quarter fell 8% to $3 billion, in line with the market’s expectations. EPS fell 21% to $4.11. On an adjusted basis, EPS was $4.49 compared with the market’s forecast of $4.48 for the quarter.

By segment, Small Business and Self-Employed Group revenue grew 11% to $982 million driven by growth in customers for QuickBooks Online. Small Business Online Ecosystem revenue grew 28% to $560 million and Consumer Group revenue fell 15% to $1.83 billion. The decline in the consumer group revenue was due to the extension of the US tax filing deadline as tax filing revenues spilled over to the fourth quarter.

Intuit did not provide any guidance for the quarter or the rest of the year. Analysts expect Intuit to report revenues of $1.56 billion for the quarter with an EPS of $0.86 and revenues of $7.38 billion for the quarter with an EPS of $7.13.

Intuit’s AI Focus

Intuit is leveraging AI to drive to its next level of growth. First, it is working to connect people to experts on its platform using TurboTax Live and QuickBooks Live. Within TurboTax Live in the last quarter, it improved access to an expert by providing real-time chat and a Live Help button. The move has helped it improve customer conversion and retention. Intuit is also leveraging AI by automating repetitive tasks and providing contextual customer information to experts so they can help customers based on their location and product experience. Overall, the AI implementation has helped it reduce session handle time and improve customer satisfaction scores to best ever levels for TurboTax Live.

For small businesses, it is using AI to sell in an omni-channel world. It recently released Cash Flow Planner in QuickBooks Online to help small businesses with their cash flow issues. Its AI-based interactive solution will help business get paid fast, manage capital and pay their employees on time. Within payroll, it is helping small business customers hold on to their money longer by using its money movement capabilities to pay employees next day, thus reducing the time between running payroll and paying employees by nearly 30%.

Its stock is trading at $283.87 with a market cap of $74 billion. It had soared to a record high of $306.89 earlier this year, but had fallen to a 52-week low of $187.68 in March due to the crisis.

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