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Intuit gains on bullish comments

Shares of Intuit jump 13 percent after an analyst at Warburg Dillon Read upgrades the software company to "strong buy."

Shares of Intuit jumped 13 percent today after an analyst at Warburg Dillon Read upgraded the software company to "strong buy."

Analyst Michael Wallace raised his rating on the maker of the popular Quicken personal finance software and increased his price target to $90.

Shares of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company rose $6.31 to $52.88 today on a volume of 5.8 million shares, well above its three-month daily average of 3.5 million.

Intuit shares have traded as high as $90 and as low as $22.50 in the past 12 months.

"We believe business is stronger than ever and view the 35 percent depreciation since it reported (earnings) on Feb. 24 as unjustified," Wallace wrote in his report.

Intuit stock has fallen considerably since the company reported slower revenue growth in the second quarter due to deep price cuts on TurboTax software.

Intuit posted $847.6 million in sales last year on the strength of Quicken, its QuickBooks small-business tax software, and tax filing application TurboTax, which together accounted for 15 percent of the company's revenue.

"We believe Intuit is in a unique position to leverage its 3 million small-business user base onto the Internet via QuickBooks and QuickBooks Internet Gateway," concluded Wallace.

Intuit also runs Quicken.com, a personal finance Web site that is receiving increased Web traffic, according to a recent report by Deutsche Bank Alex Brown analyst Lawrence Marcus.

According to the Feb. 28 report, unique users of Intuit's site grew by 16.7 percent from November to December 1999. The amount of time users spent on the site also increased 33 percent.

Reuters contributed to this report.