Autobytel Increases Revenue Guidance for 2014 First Quarter

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IRVINE, Calif., April 1, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), pioneer of the automotive Internet and the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers and manufacturers, today announced it has raised its revenue guidance for the first quarter of 2014.

Autobytel expects total revenue growth, including the contribution from its recently completed acquisition of AutoUSA, of 45% to 47% for the first quarter of 2014, compared with the first quarter of 2013. The company also now expects organic revenue growth, excluding the contribution from AutoUSA, in the range of 22% to 24% for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014, compared with last year. The company's original guidance range called for revenue growth of 18% to 22%.

Additionally, Autobytel said it expects earnings per diluted share (EPS) of approximately $0.03 for the 2014 first quarter, in line with analysts' estimates. The company noted that EPS for the first quarter includes one-time acquisition-related costs of approximately $1.0 million and does not include cost synergy benefits related to the acquisition of AutoUSA, which are expected to begin at the end of the 2014 second quarter. As a reminder, due to the company's one-time benefit on the deferred tax asset allowance reversal in the fourth quarter of 2013, Autobytel will begin recognizing a 40% book tax provision on its pre-tax income prospectively, beginning with the first quarter of 2014. However, due to the company's significant NOL's, there will be minimal impact to cash from this recognition of a book tax provision.

The company provided AutoUSA's audited financial statements for the periods ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, as well as unaudited pro forma financial information for AutoUSA and Autobytel combined for 2013 in a March 26 amendment to its Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 17, 2014 in connection with the January 2014 acquisition of AutoUSA, a Web-based auto leads and services provider, from AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN). AutoUSA generated 2013 revenues of approximately $30.0 million, with positive operating income and cash flow. Autobytel reiterated that AutoUSA's historical gross margins have been in the mid-20% range, and believes that it will take several quarters to bring those margins closer to current Autobytel gross margins. Autobytel expects the transaction to be accretive to its 2014 results.

Autobytel also reiterated that it currently has no plans for raising additional capital following its shelf registration statement on Form S-3 filed with the SEC on February 27, 2014. The filing allows the company to act opportunistically in support of its longer-term growth objectives. When declared effective by the SEC, the registration statement will allow Autobytel to issue various types of securities, including common stock, preferred stock, debt securities and warrants, from time to time.

About Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel Inc. provides high quality consumer leads and associated marketing services to automotive dealers and manufacturers throughout the United States and offers consumers robust and original online automotive content to help them make informed car-buying decisions. The company pioneered the automotive internet in 1995 with its flagship website and has since helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand online.

Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and invitations to special events by accessing the online registration form at Autobytel investor alerts.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer

The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements under the federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, expectations that total first quarter 2014 revenue growth, including the contribution from AutoUSA, will be in the range of 45% to 47% compared with the 2013 first quarter, expectations regarding first quarter 2014 organic revenue growth being in the range of 22% to 24%, expectations that EPS will be approximately $0.03 for the 2014 first quarter, the company's belief that it will take several quarters to bring AutoUSA gross margins closer to current Autobytel margins, and expectations that the AutoUSA transaction will be accretive to Autobytel's 2014 results, are not guarantees of future performance and involve assumptions and risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. Autobytel undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements are changes in general economic conditions; the financial condition of automobile manufacturers and dealers; disruptions in automobile production; changes in fuel prices; the economic impact of terrorist attacks, political revolutions or military actions; failure of our internet security measures; dealer attrition; pressure on dealer fees; increased or unexpected competition; the failure of new products and services to meet expectations; failure to retain key employees or attract and integrate new employees; actual costs and expenses exceeding charges taken by Autobytel; changes in laws and regulations; costs of legal matters, including, defending lawsuits and undertaking investigations and related matters; and other matters disclosed in Autobytel's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors are strongly encouraged to review the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a discussion of risks and uncertainties that could affect the business, operating results or financial condition of Autobytel and the market price of the company's stock.

CONTACT: Autobytel Inc. Investor Relations Curtis DeWalt Chief Financial Officer 949-437-4694 or PondelWilkinson Inc. Roger Pondel/Laurie Berman 310-279-5980 Autobytel Inc. Media Relations Splash Media Jennifer Lange 949-916-4820

Source:Autobytel Inc.