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Intuit Reports Narrower Loss, Names New Chief Executive

Intuit, the maker of TurboTax software, named a new chief executive on Wednesday and also posted a loss for its fiscal fourth quarter, which is traditionally its weakest.

Intuit said CEO Steve Bennett will step down at the end of December and be replaced on Jan. 1 by Brad Smith, senior vice president and general manager of its Small Business Division.

Shares of the company, which gained 1.54 percent to finish at $28.94 Wednesday, declined less than 1 percent in extended trading.

Bennett did not elaborate on the reason for his departure, but said in a company statement he would "take some time off and explore the next challenge in my life."

Intuit reported its net loss narrowed to $13.6 million, or 4 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended July 31, from $18.9 million, or 6 cents, a year ago.

Excluding stock-based compensation and other special items, the company's loss was 2 cents per share compared with a loss of 3 cents a year ago.

Analysts, on average, had looked for a loss of 5 cents per share, before special items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Intuit said it usually posts a seasonal loss in its fourth quarter as revenue remains low for its tax businesses but expenses remain constant.

Revenue rose 31 percent to $433 million.

For fiscal 2008, the company expects revenue of $3 billion to $3.05 billion, with net profit of $1.41 to $1.43 per share.

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