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Autobytel Reports 26% Increase in Revenues for 2014 Third Quarter

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), pioneer of the automotive Internet and the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers, today reported continued improvement in its financial results for the third quarter and nine-months ended September 30, 2014.

"The positive momentum of the first half of 2014 continued into the third quarter, as we generated our highest quarterly revenue since before the 2008 recession," said Jeffery H. Coats, President and Chief Executive Officer of Autobytel. "Our core leads business remains solid, and our acquisition of AutoUSA continues to pay off nicely and is significantly enhancing our competitive position. Combined with continued strength in the automotive sector, we are optimistic about Autobytel's ability to generate ongoing growth and profitability, while enhancing value for our dealer and OEM customers, and our stockholders."

Total revenues for the 2014 third quarter increased more than 26.0% to $27.4 million, from $21.6 million last year. Revenues generated from automotive leads and services for the 2014 third quarter increased 28.0% to $24.5 million, from $19.0 million one year ago. The improvement principally reflected ongoing demand from automotive dealers (retail) and auto manufacturers (wholesale). Retail revenues rose approximately 69.0%, and wholesale revenues grew approximately 2.0% for the third quarter of 2014, compared with third quarter of 2013.

Gross profit increased approximately 25.0% to $11.0 million, or 40.2% of total revenues, for the 2014 third quarter, from $8.8 million, or 40.7% of total revenues, last year.

Total operating expenses were $9.0 million, or 32.9% of total revenues, for the third quarter of 2014, compared with $7.4 million, or 34.3% of revenues, for last year's third quarter.

Net income for the 2014 third quarter totaled $1.1 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, versus $1.3 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, for the 2013 third quarter. The per share calculations were based on 11.1 million diluted average weighted shares outstanding for the 2014 third quarter and 10.6 million diluted average weighted shares outstanding for the 2013 third quarter.

Non-GAAP income, defined as GAAP net income before amortization of acquired intangibles, non-cash stock-based compensation, acquisition costs, litigation settlements and income taxes, rose to $2.5 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2014, from $2.1 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, for last year's third quarter. Autobytel is providing non-GAAP income, since it believes this is a better metric for monitoring the company's financial performance given its net operating loss (NOL) tax credits and recent acquisitions.

Nine-Month Results

Total revenues rose approximately 39.0% to $80.2 million for the first nine months of 2014, up from $57.7 million for the same period last year. Automotive leads and services revenues increased 44.0% for the 2014 year-to-date period from the same period last year. Retail revenues grew approximately 75.0% and wholesale revenues improved 21.0% for the first nine months of 2014, compared with the corresponding year-to-date period of 2013.

Gross profit increased to $31.4 million, or 39.1% of total revenues, for the 2014 year-to-date period, from $22.4 million, or 38.8% of total revenues, for the same period last year.

Total operating expenses for the first nine months of 2014 amounted to $27.2 million, or 33.9% of total revenues, versus $20.4 million, or 35.4% of total revenues, for the first nine months of last year.

Net income for the 2014 year-to-date period rose to $2.3 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, based on 11.3 million diluted average weighted shares outstanding. Net income for the year-ago period was $2.0 million, or $0.21 per share, based on 10.3 million diluted average weighted shares outstanding. The current year includes a higher book tax provision that was not required in the prior year, as previously disclosed.

Non-GAAP income grew to $6.8 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, for the 2014 year-to-date period, versus $3.8 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, for the corresponding period last year.

Cash and cash equivalents increased to $22.3 million at September 30, 2014, up from $18.9 million at December 31, 2013 and $17.4 million one year ago.

Cash flow provided by operations was $2.8 million for the 2014 third quarter, compared with $1.8 million for the same period last year. Cash flow provided by operations was $5.6 million for the first nine months of 2014, compared with $2.7 million for the same period last year.

Business Outlook

Based on current business trends, an ongoing healthy automotive market and typical expected seasonality, Autobytel estimates that:

  • 2014 fourth quarter revenue should increase 23.5% to 27.5% over the $20.7 million reported for the 2013 fourth quarter, and
  • 2014 fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS should advance to $0.12 to $0.15, based on 11.1 million diluted average weighted shares outstanding.

Conference Call

Autobytel management will host a conference call today at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT to discuss its 2014 third quarter financial results. Interested parties may participate in the live call by dialing (877) 852-2929, passcode 23506766. An audio broadcast will also be available through a live webcast at www.autobytel.com (click on "Investor Relations" and then click on "Events & Presentations"). Please visit the website at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the call to register and download any necessary software. For those unable to listen to the live broadcast, the call will be archived for one year on Autobytel's website. A telephone replay of the call will also be available through November 12, 2014 by dialing (855) 859-2056, passcode 23506766. The slides that will be referenced during the call will be available on the company's website at www.autobytel.com (click on "Investor Relations" and then click on "Events & Presentations"). The slides will contain disclosures of EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA per diluted share, non-GAAP net income, and non-GAAP EPS, which are non-GAAP financial measures as defined by SEC Regulation G. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures will be included in the slides.

Note about Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Autobytel has disclosed non-GAAP income and non-GAAP EPS in this press release, which are non-GAAP financial measures as defined by SEC Regulation G, for the 2014 and 2013 third quarter and nine-month periods. The company defines (i) non-GAAP income as GAAP net income before amortization of acquired intangibles, non-cash stock-based compensation, acquisition costs, litigation settlements and income taxes; and (ii) non-GAAP EPS as non-GAAP income divided by weighted average diluted shares outstanding. The company's management believes that presenting non-GAAP income and non-GAAP EPS provides useful information to investors regarding the underlying business trends and performance of the company's ongoing operations and are better metrics for monitoring the company's performance given the company's net operating loss (NOL) tax credits and recent acquisitions.These non-GAAP financial measures are used in addition to and in conjunction with results presented in accordance with GAAP and should not be relied upon to the exclusion of GAAP financial measures. Management strongly encourages investors to review the company's consolidated financial statements in their entirety and to not rely on any single financial measure. A table providing a reconciliation of non-GAAP income and non-GAAP EPS is included at the end of this press release.

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 www.autobytel.com 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 investor.autobytel.com/alerts.cfm.

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, comments that when combined with continued strength in the automotive sector, Autobytel is optimistic about its ability to generate ongoing growth and profitability, while enhancing value for its dealer and OEM customers, and its stockholders, and that based on current business trends, an ongoing healthy automotive market and typical expected seasonality the company estimates that 2014 fourth quarter revenue growth should increase 23.5% to 27.5% compared with the 2013 fourth quarter, and that 2014 fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS should advance to $0.12 to $0.15, based on 11.1 million diluted average weighted shares outstanding, 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, as amended by Amendment No. 1 on Form 10-K/A, 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.

(Financial Tables Follow)

AUTOBYTEL INC.
UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS
(Amounts in thousands, except share and per-share data)
September 30, December 31,
2014 2013
Assets
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 22,316 $ 18,930
Accounts receivable (net of allowances for bad debts and customer credits of $711 and $405 at September 30, 2014 and December 31, 2013, respectively) 16,793 14,178
Deferred tax asset 2,346 3,517
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 547 506
Total current assets 42,002 37,131
Property and equipment, net 1,892 1,548
Equity investment 2,500 2,500
Intangible assets, net 4,563 1,821
Goodwill 20,948 13,602
Deferred tax asset 31,135 31,135
Other assets 1,232 456
Total assets $ 104,272 $ 88,193
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 7,721 $ 5,267
Accrued expenses and other current liabilities 7,979 7,648
Convertible note payable 5,000 --
Total current liabilities 20,700 12,915
Convertible note payable 1,000 5,000
Term loan payable 7,313 --
Borrowings under credit facility 5,250 4,250
Other non-current liabilities 550 1,200
Total liabilities 34,813 23,365
Commitments and contingencies -- --
Stockholders' equity:
Preferred stock, $0.001 par value; 11,445,187 shares authorized; none outstanding -- --
Common stock, $0.001 par value; 55,000,000 shares authorized; 9,028,733 and 8,909,737 shares issued and outstanding, as of September 30, 2014 and December 31, 2013, respectively 9 9
Additional paid-in capital 309,508 307,171
Accumulated deficit (240,058) (242,352)
Total stockholders' equity 69,459 64,828
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 104,272 $ 88,193
AUTOBYTEL INC.
UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF INCOME AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
(Amounts in thousands, except per-share data)
Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
September 30, September 30,
2014 2013 2014 2013
Revenues:
Lead fees $ 25,880 $ 20,653 $ 76,727 $ 55,013
Advertising 1,093 956 2,531 2,567
Other revenues 391 26 979 88
Total revenues 27,364 21,635 80,237 57,668
Cost of revenues 16,356 12,826 48,828 35,311
Gross profit 11,008 8,809 31,409 22,357
Operating expenses:
Sales and marketing 3,336 2,745 11,078 7,122
Technology support 2,055 1,855 5,971 5,328
General and administrative 3,161 2,526 8,899 6,961
Depreciation and amortization 483 362 1,373 1,196
Litigation settlements (25) (66) (118) (205)
Total operating expenses 9,010 7,422 27,203 20,402
Operating income 1,998 1,387 4,206 1,955
Interest and other income (expense), net (177) 24 (518) 331
Income tax provision 697 138 1,394 292
Net income and comprehensive income $ 1,124 $ 1,273 $ 2,294 $ 1,994
Basic earnings per common share $ 0.12 $ 0.14 $ 0.26 $ 0.22
Diluted earnings per common share $ 0.11 $ 0.13 $ 0.22 $ 0.21
Shares used in computing earnings per common share (in thousands):
Basic 9,029 8,901 8,986 8,874
Diluted 11,099 10,586 11,255 10,310
AUTOBYTEL INC.
RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP INCOME / EPS
(Amounts in thousands, except per-share data)
Three Months Ended Three Months Ended Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
March 31, June 30, September 30, September 30,
2014 2013 2014 2013 2014 2013 2014 2013
Net income $ 370 $ 334 $ 801 $ 386 $ 1,124 $ 1,273 $ 2,294 $ 1,994
Amortization of acquired intangibles 332 331 376 331 376 290 1,085 951
Non-cash stock based compensation
Cost of revenues 17 12 17 13 18 13 52 38
Sales and marketing 109 35 142 41 149 35 400 111
Technology support 56 60 67 55 61 56 185 171
General and administrative 104 79 142 79 142 78 388 236
Total non-cash stock-based compensation 286 186 368 188 370 182 1,025 556
Acquisition costs 984 -- 116 -- -- 251 1,100 251
Litigation settlements (68) (71) (25) (67) (25) (66) (118) (205)
Income taxes 220 71 476 83 697 138 1,394 292
Non-GAAP income $ 2,124 $ 851 $ 2,112 $ 921 $ 2,542 $ 2,068 $ 6,780 $ 3,839
Weighted average diluted shares 10,282 9,076 11,271 9,133 11,099 10,586 11,255 10,310
GAAP EPS $ 0.04 $ 0.04 $ 0.08 $ 0.04 $ 0.11 $ 0.13 $ 0.22 $ 0.21
EPS impact of adjustments 0.17 0.06 0.12 0.06 0.13 0.08 0.40 0.18
Non-GAAP EPS $ 0.21 $ 0.09 $ 0.19 $ 0.10 $ 0.23 $ 0.20 $ 0.60 $ 0.37

CONTACT: Investor Relations: Autobytel Inc. Curtis E. DeWalt SVP, Chief Financial Officer 949-437-4694 curtisd@autobytel.com PondelWilkinson Inc. Roger Pondel/Laurie Berman 310-279-5980 pwinvestor@pondel.com

Source:Autobytel Inc.