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Last month we pointed out that Intuit (INTU) tends to trade in a seasonal pattern, with the annual price peak occurring late in the calendar year. True to form, the stock was down after hours after Intuit reported earnings for their first fiscal quarter Thursday:

Intuit Inc. today announced its first-quarter 2007 revenue increased 19 percent over the year-ago quarter to $362.1 million. Growth was primarily driven by strong sales of its QuickBooks software and add-on solutions, payroll and payments. Approximately $20 million of first-quarter revenue was attributed to the September launch of QuickBooks 2007, which was about 30 days earlier than last year. Without this earlier launch, revenue growth would have been approximately 12 percent.Forward-looking Guidance

Intuit reaffirmed its previously-given revenue and earnings per share guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2007 and provided operating income guidance for the first time. Intuit expects:

* Revenue of $743 million to $760 million, or year-over-year growth of 0 percent to 2 percent.
* GAAP operating income of $185 million to $204 million, and non-GAAP operating income of $211 million to $230 million.
* GAAP diluted earnings per share, or EPS, of $0.34 to $0.37, and non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.39 to $0.42.

Intuit also reaffirmed its previously given third quarter, fourth quarter, and full year fiscal 2007 guidance for revenue and earnings per share, details of which are available on Intuit’s Web site.

The guidance was slightly below consensus expectations, but that’s what the consensus gets for making estimates outside the high end of management’s guidance range. We bought put options following our earlier article, and still own them. It’s another one of those things that worked the way we expected it to.

INTU 1-yr chart:

INTU 1-yr chart

Source: Intuit Shares Continue To Follow Pre-determined Seasonal Patterns