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There's no avoiding death and taxes. California-based software firm
INTU) is counting on at least half of that statement holding up.
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Intuit develops tools that help consumers and businesses figure out their finances. The firm's brands include tax preparation software TurboTax, and leading accounting titles Quicken and QuickBooks. Intuit's success in simplifying financials have established a major economic moat for the firm -- its software enjoy nearly 90% of the market share for tax prep and small business accounting software. And as the firm markets more services to its existing customer lists, it should continue to churn out growth.
Intuit benefits from extremely high switching costs. Because customers have years of detailed tax data stored through TurboTax, for example, they're a lot less likely to convert to a rival service -- even a free one. For businesses, services like payroll and payment processing tie in perfectly with QuickBooks. That means that switchers have to deal with enormous headaches to jump ship.
That domination shines through to INTU's balance sheet. Right now, the firm boasts $1.6 billion in cash and just $499 million in debt. While that hardly makes Intuit a deep value name, it protects the firm from a lot of downside risks. Just like Becton, Intuit isn't cheap right now. But if short sellers lose their patience, this name could be a textbook short squeeze: Right now, the firm has a short interest ratio of 11.82.