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Intuit Fiscal 2nd-qtr Profit Tumbles 40 Percent

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) â¿¿ Analysts found little to be concerned about Friday in Intuit Inc.'s fiscal second-quarter earnings results, despite a 40 percent profit decline that the tax preparation and personal finance software maker attributed to a late start to the tax season.

The Mountain View, Calif., software company's main products include QuickBooks, Quicken and TurboTax, focusing on small business management, payroll processing, personal finance and tax preparation.

The company said Thursday after markets closed that its revenue slipped 3 percent to $968 million in the quarter that ended Jan. 31, due to late legislation and Internal Revenue Service delays that are expected to shift revenue to the third fiscal quarter. That was down 3 percent from $999 million a year ago.

Intuit estimated that revenue would have grown about 10 percent without that shift.

Congress and the White House reached a deal in January on legislation that avoided steering the economy off the so-called fiscal cliff. The Internal Revenue Service started accepting returns on Jan. 30, an eight-day delay necessitated by the late congressional action.

Intuit earned $71 million, or 23 cents per share, in the three months that ended Jan. 31. That compared with earnings of $118 million, or 39 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings, which exclude things like amortization-related costs, totaled 33 cents per share.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings of 30 cents per share on $963.2 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

The company said its small business revenue grew 11 percent in the quarter, excluding gains from Demandforce software it acquired last May.

Total costs and expenses climbed 9 percent to $875 million, as Intuit spent more on selling and marketing and on research and development.

Intuit said it still expects full fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings to range between $3.40 and $3.46 per share on $4.55 billion to $4.65 billion in revenue.

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