Autobytel Announces 2008 Third Quarter Financial Results
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IRVINE, Calif. November 6, 2008: Autobytel Inc., a leading Internet automotive marketing services company, today announced financial results for the 2008 third quarter ended September 30, 2008.
Revenue for the 2008 third quarter equaled $17.3 million, compared with $21.9 million last year. The decline was primarily related to a decrease in advertising revenue, reflecting the previously announced elimination of low quality traffic sources, along with lower advertising rates and fewer consumer leads resulting primarily from the slowing economy.
As part of an initiative aimed at improving cash flow and attaining profitability, the company reduced total operating expenses in the third quarter of 2008 to $12.2 million, which included an incremental $1.8 million in severance and other employee-related costs related to the company’s previously announced workforce reduction. Excluding the severance costs, total operating expenses declined nearly 33% to $10.4 million from $15.5 million in the prior-year period, and decreased approximately 16% on a sequential basis, excluding the $52.1 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge taken in the second quarter of 2008.
For purposes of financial reporting, revenues and expenses related to the company’s Retention Performance Marketing (RPM) and Automotive Information Center (AIC) businesses, both divested in 2007, and its AVV business, which was sold in the first quarter of 2008, have been accounted for in discontinued operations.
Loss from continuing operations was reduced to $5.8 million, or $0.13 per share, for the 2008 third quarter, from $8.0 million, or $0.18 per share, for the year-ago period.
Non-cash share-based compensation expense was $0.6 million and $1.2 million, respectively, for the third quarters of 2008 and 2007.
The company reported a lower net loss for the third quarter of 2008 of $5.6 million, or $0.13 per share, compared with a net loss of $6.6 million, or $0.15 per share, for the third quarter of 2007, which included $1.4 million in income from discontinued operations.
Cash and cash equivalents rose to $32.2 million at September 30, 2008, from $28.3 million at December 31, 2007.
“This quarter, we continued to make substantial progress reducing costs and better aligning our organization against our short- and longer-term financial and operational goals,” said Jim Riesenbach, president and CEO of Autobytel. “These actions, combined with our strong cash position, provide us with a degree of stability in what has become one of the most challenging automotive and macro economic environments in our time.”
During the third quarter, Autobytel announced that it had retained investment banking firm RBC Capital Markets as its financial advisor to assist the company in exploring and evaluating strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value. These alternatives could include the possible sale of the company or certain of its assets, or strategic partnerships.
Autobytel management will host a conference call today at 5:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. PT to discuss its 2008 third quarter financial results. The conference call will be available to all interested parties through a live webcast at www.autobytel.com (click on “Investor Relations” and then click on “Conference Calls”). 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 for approximately one week by dialing 800-642-1687 (domestic) or 706-645-9291 (international) and entering conference ID 70170189.