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Intuit's View Too Dim

The QuickBooks maker's second-quarter outlook is below Wall Street's expectations.

Updated from 4:39 p.m. EST

Strong sales of the newest version of QuickBooks helped


(INTU) - Get Intuit Inc. (INTU) Report

boost first-quarter revenue by a stronger-than-expected 19%, but the company's second-quarter outlook was below Wall Street's expectations.

Intuit, best known for its tax-preparation software and small-business accounting packages, lost $58.9 million, or 17 cents a share, compared with a loss of $45.8 million, or 13 cents a share, in the October quarter of last year. Revenue grew to $362.1 million.

Because it derives little revenue from its tax programs in the first quarter, Intuit typically posts a loss in the period.

Excluding the cost of stock options, the Mountain View, Calif., company lost $42.5 million, or 12 cents a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for a loss of 13 cents a share on revenue of $340.7 million.

Contributing to the wider loss was a 14% increase in operating expenses. Much of the increase, said CFO Kiran Patel, went to fund R&D, particularly a new software product aimed at helping consumers manage the cost of medical treatment. He expects it to launch within the year.

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Intuit has released few details of the new product but did say it is being developed in conjunction with a number of large health care providers.

CEO Steve Bennett said the company expects to resume share repurchases, but he did not specify a time. Intuit's board has authorized the repurchase of more than $500 million worth of shares.

Bennett said that the company's stock has done quite well -- up 29% on the year -- without the support of a buyback.

QuickBooks revenue grew to $133.7 million during the first quarter, a year-over-year increase of 28%. Also growing strongly were payroll- and payments-related products, which were 21%.

Consumer-tax revenue grew 62% to $12.8 million.

Looking to the second quarter, the company expects revenue to range from $743 million to $760 million, or growth of up to 2%.

Non-GAAP EPS will range from 39 cents to 42 cents.

On the same basis, analysts were forecasting a profit of 45 cents a share on sales of $766.2 million.

GAAP earnings, the company said, will likely range from 34 cents a share to 37 cents a share.

In after-hours trading, shares were off 53 cents, or 1.5%, to $34.28.