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UBS downgrades Intuit on stock price rise

September 10, 2010 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — Financial software maker Intuit Inc. remains an “attractive story,” with strong results despite a difficult economy, a UBS analyst said Friday.

He noted that customers are shifting to online products and the Mountain View, Calif., company has shown a renewed pace for innovation. But he doesn’t see the stock gaining much more after its run-up so far this year.

THE OPINION: Intuit released its 2011 version of QuickBooks earlier this week and is getting ready to unveil the next generation of TurboTax, analyst Brent Thill noted. But the stock has outperformed the broader market this year, rising 43 percent while the Nasdaq has slipped 2 percent. Thill said he remains positive on Intuit’s fundamentals.

THE STOCK: Intuit shares slipped 66 cents to $43.32 in afternoon trading after Thill cut his rating on the stock to “Neutral,” from “Buy” because the stock closed Thursday just short of his price target of $44.

Separately, Wedbush Securities analyst Gil Luria removed the stock from his “Best Ideas” list based on the stock price increase, and raised his price target to $48 from $45. Luria kept an “Outperform” rating on the stock.