Autobytel reports higher first-quarter profit, revenue on auto rebound
Internet lead generator Autobytel Inc. reported that its first-quarter net income and revenue rose from the year-ago period, attributing the gains to continued improvements in the auto industry.
Net income in the first quarter was $253,000, or 1 cent a share, compared with a loss of $571,000, or 1 cent a share, during the year-ago period.
Revenue for the quarter rose 4 percent from the first quarter of 2011 to $16.7 million.
"Our focus on helping automotive dealer and manufacturer customers generate higher levels of sales conversions by providing them with quality purchase requests is continuing to drive improvements in our business," Autobytel CEO Jeffrey Coats said in a statement. "Autobytel is well positioned to benefit from ongoing improvements in our core business, along with the continuing recovery in the automotive sector."
Autobytel refers customers to dealers and automakers through Internet marketing. Since the Irvine, Calif., company went public in 1999, is has posted an annual net profit only three times, in 2003, 2004 and 2011, according to Bloomberg data.
The company suffered major losses during the recession in 2008 but has been steadily improving since. In February, Autobytel approved a program that authorizes the repurchase of as much as $1.5 million of the company's common stock.
Autobytel says it sells its leads to about 2,500 new-car dealerships and 1,100 used-car dealerships nationally.
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