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Will This Upgrade Help Intuit (INTU) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Intuit Inc (INTU) shares were upgraded to "equal weight" from "underweight" by analysts at Evercore Partners  (EVR) on Tuesday. The firm increased the price target on the shares to $72 from $62.

The upgrade follows the firm's belief that the company's TurboTax division will beat Evercore's growth guidance of flat to diminishing by posting 3%-4% growth this quarter.

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"2014 tax filings data indicate the opposite-growth for the self-prepared category far exceeds the flattish trends in the tax professionals, or assisted, category. Historically, the final release of April 15th TurboTax unit growth has been a meaningful catalyst for INTU stock given the Company generates approximately 90% of its annual earnings in its April quarter," said the firm.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates INTUIT INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate INTUIT INC (INTU) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • INTU's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.22 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.11, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, INTUIT INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $332.00 million or 29.68% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.31%.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • INTUIT INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, INTUIT INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.71 versus $2.53 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.57 versus $2.71).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: INTU Ratings Report
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