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Intuit betters revenues, sells unit

The financial software maker improves third-quarter earnings and plans to sell its Parsons Technology unit to Broderbund Software.

Intuit (INTU) posted improved third-quarter earnings today and announced plans to sell its Parsons Technology unit to Broderbund Software (BROD).

Intuit reported revenues of $136 million for the third quarter ended April 30, up slightly from revenues of $132 million reported for the same quarter a year ago.

Net income reached $488,000, or 1 cent per share, for the quarter, compared with a loss of $308,000 a year ago. But excluding charges for the acquisition of business accounting software maker Nihon Micom and discontinued operations, the company would have posted net income of $7.6 million, or 16 cents per share, matching Wall Street expectations reported by First Call.

Intuit's proposed sale of Parsons to Broderbund comes as the company tries to focus on its financial service software and to explore using the Internet for delivering consumer financial services, according to Intuit treasurer Linda Fellows. Under the letter of intent, Intuit will retain Parsons's line of tax preparation software.

"We felt that with our strategic focus moving, someone like Broderbund would be a better fit" for Parsons's nonfinancial product line, Fellows said. These nonfinancial products include legal, sports, Bible study, and genealogy software.

Broderbund president Bill McDonagh described the proposed deal as an opportunity for his company to broaden its primarily retail customer base to include direct-to-consumer business. "We will take their products to retail as well," he said, noting that Parsons sells primarily through nonretail avenues such as direct mail, the Internet, and telemarketing.

Terms of the proposed sale were not disclosed, but McDonagh said he expected it to be a cash deal that would close in July.