Dealership sales lead provider Autobytel generated record revenue during the first quarter, which the company said was primarily driven by the continued strong growth of advertising click revenues.
For the quarter that wrapped up March 31, Autobytel reported an 8-percent year-over-year increase in revenue to $37.3 million. That advertising click revenue spiked a whopping 152 percent, according to the company.
As a result, Autobytel indicated the company posted a net income figure of $0.5 million or $0.04 per diluted share during Q1. A year earlier, the company sustained a net loss of $0.7 million or $0.07 per share.
“The momentum from our record 2016 has carried into the first quarter,” Autobytel president and chief executive officer Jeff Coats said. “Our results were highlighted by another quarter of triple-digit growth in our clicks business, which is becoming a meaningful contributor to our overall financial performance.
“As expected, our lead revenues were down due to the effect of last year’s initiative to systematically reduce lower-quality leads supply,” Coats continued.
As of March 31, the company noted its cash and cash equivalents totaled $39.6 million compared to $38.5 million as of Dec. 31. Autobytel said its total debt was reduced to $20.4 million compared to $23.1 million at the end of last year.
Autobytel continues to expect 2017 revenue to range between $156.0 million and $160.0 million, representing an increase of approximately 4 percent to 7 percent from 2016.
“Looking ahead, we expect to continue reinvesting in our business to drive sustainable, long-term organic growth and further solidify Autobytel’s position as a leader in the digital automotive marketplace,” Coats said. “We also expect to continue to enhance our internal lead generation capabilities and invest in new traffic sources to maximize the growth potential of our clicks and used car businesses.
“In fact, we expect our used car business to make significant headway this year as we seek to position our revamped usedcars.com site to become the premier used vehicle destination for consumers,” he continued. “But most importantly, in 2017 we will remain committed to providing our dealer and OEM customers with high-quality, high-intent car buyers.”