Autobytel.com Reports First Quarter 2001 Results

Net Loss Cut in Half, Operating Loss Declines Significantly on Stable Revenue,

Placing Company on Path to Profitability for Third Quarter of 2001



Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from Autobytel.com

    IRVINE, Calif., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Autobytel.com (Nasdaq:   ABTL)
 today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2001.
     Revenue for the first quarter was $16.7 million, up 10 percent from
 revenue of $15.1 million in the same quarter of the prior year, and down
 1 percent sequentially from revenue of $16.8 million in the quarter ended
 December 31, 2000.  In the quarter, for the first time, we recognized
 $1.4 million related to an automotive consulting project.  The portion of
 total revenue from international fees and licenses and from services such as
 finance, insurance and web site development was 14 percent for the quarter.
     The operating loss in the quarter declined to $5.3 million, compared with
 an operating loss of $9.6 million in the same quarter a year ago, and an
 operating loss of $6.7 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2000.  It was
 the third consecutive quarter Autobytel.com significantly lowered its
 operating loss.
     The net loss in the first quarter was $4.1 million, or $0.20 per share,
 compared with a net loss of $8.1 million, or $0.42 per share, in the same
 quarter of the prior year, and with a net loss of $3.3 million, or $0.16 per
 share, in the quarter ended December 31, 2000.
     As of March 31, 2001, Autobytel.com's cash and cash equivalents were
 $75.1 million, including $34.6 million that is reserved for the operation of
 Autobytel Europe.  The Company used $6.9 million in cash in the first quarter.
     "In light of the difficult economic environment, we continue to be pleased
 with our results and progress," said Mark Lorimer, president and CEO of
 Autobytel.com.  "We maintained stable revenue and significantly reduced our
 operating loss and cost of customer acquisition by aligning our marketing
 costs and other expenses with the current opportunities in the marketplace."
 
     Outlook for 2001
     The Company is providing the following guidance for the second quarter of
 2001: revenue in the range of $16.0 to $16.5 million, with a per share loss in
 the range of $0.09 to $0.11.  "We expect to continue to lower our customer
 acquisition cost, and take further steps to decrease overall expenses," said
 Lorimer.  "Those steps may include continued reduction in advertising,
 marketing and other costs, and renegotiation of supplier and portal
 relationships on more favorable terms."
     "Given an uncertain outlook for both the auto industry and e-commerce in
 general, and our potential combination with Autoweb, we lack sufficient
 visibility to provide specific revenue and EPS guidance for the third and
 fourth quarters at this time," said Lorimer.  "However, as a result of our
 success in reducing costs, we moved closer to our goal of profitability, which
 we expect to achieve in the third quarter of this year.  Our strong cash
 position, increasingly efficient operations, and market leadership position
 should allow us to aggressively pursue opportunities as the market improves."
 
     First Quarter Highlights
     According to Lorimer, two recent developments highlight the Company's
 market leadership position.
     "Our recent agreement to combine with Autoweb, which we expect to close
 early in the third quarter, will not only expand our market share lead and
 extend our dealer network, it should make Autobytel.com a leader in automotive
 information services and provide us with significant manufacturer
 relationships," he said.  "Furthermore, we reiterate our belief that the
 combined companies will achieve profitability in the third quarter."
     "Also, our recent agreement with General Motors to test the
 locate-to-order business model in the Washington, D.C. market demonstrates our
 unique ability to partner with and provide valuable services to the auto
 manufacturers," continued Lorimer.  "We believe that our brand and marketing
 strengths, technology development expertise, and ability to work with dealer
 networks through training, management and customer services make Autobytel.com
 an attractive partner for others in the industry, potentially providing a
 source of high margin growth in the future."
 
     Conference Call
     A conference call to discuss first quarter 2001 financial results will be
 web cast live on Thursday, April 26, 2001, at 4:30 PM EDT.  Links to the web
 cast conference call follow:
 
     http://www.videonewswire.com/AUTOBYTEL/042601/
     http://www.vcall.com/NASApp/VCall/EventPage?ID=73440
 
     Replays will be available at both links for 90 days.  A replay of the call
 will also be available through May 26, 2001 by dialing (800) 642-1687 or
 (706) 645-9291, code #790546
 
     About autobytel.com inc.
     autobytel.com inc. (Nasdaq:   ABTL), the global leader in online automotive
 commerce, brings car buyers, owners, and sellers together in a trusted
 environment, empowered by the Internet.  Through its extensive automotive
 content and multiple purchasing, financing, insurance and service options,
 Autobytel.com offers consumers choice and peace of mind throughout the
 automotive lifecycle, while providing its network of accredited dealers and
 automotive services partners the most efficient way to reach online car buyers
 and owners.  Autobytel.com and its wholly-owned subsidiary, A.I.N. Corporation
 (Carsmart), have a network of dealers nationwide and are the seventh largest
 generator of automotive sales in the United States, just behind GM, Ford,
 DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Honda and Nissan.  Autobytel.com has been ranked #1
 in Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services for three years in a row by
 J.D. Power and Associates.(1)  Autobytel.com's low-cost, no-haggle car-buying
 program is available in the U.S., Canada (www.autobytel.ca), the United
 Kingdom (www.autobytel.co.uk), Sweden (www.autobytel.se), Netherlands
 (www.autobytel.nl), Japan (www.autobytel-japan.com), Australia
 (www.autobytel.com.au) and Spain (www.autobytel.es).  Headquartered in Irvine,
 California, Autobytel.com is recognized as the company that transformed the
 $1 trillion new car industry when it invented online car buying.
 
     (1) J.D. Power and Associates 1998 - 2000 Dealer Satisfaction With Online
 Buying Services Studies(SM).  2000 study conducted among dealership Internet
 specialists who completed 2,144 evaluations of individual services.
 www.jdpower.com.
 
    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 are not guarantees of future performance and
 involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to
 predict.  Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is
 expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements.  Autobytel.com
 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, increased or unexpected competition, the
 failure to realize anticipated synergies related to the proposed merger with
 Autoweb, failure to obtain required stockholder or regulatory approvals or the
 merger not closing for any other reason, failure of the combined company to
 retain and hire key employees, difficulties in successfully integrating the
 parties' businesses and technologies and other matters disclosed in
 Autobytel.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 Investors are strongly encouraged to review our annual report on Form 10-K for
 the year ended December 31, 2000, and other reports on file with the
 Securities and Exchange Commission for a discussion of risks and uncertainties
 that could affect operating results and the market price of our stock.
 
 
                                autobytel.com inc.
                            CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
              (Amounts in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
                                      ASSETS
 
                                                   March 31,      December 31,
                                                     2001             2000
 
     Current assets:
        Cash and cash equivalents,
         includes restricted amounts of
         $16,028 and $15,029, respectively          $75,082          $81,945
        Accounts receivable, net of
         allowance for doubtful accounts of
         $1,821 and $1,494, respectively              7,405            6,638
        Prepaid expenses and other current
         assets                                       3,481            4,127
            Total current assets                     85,968           92,710
     Property and equipment, net                      2,031            2,537
     Investments                                      1,165            1,353
     Goodwill, net                                   23,334           23,755
     Capitalized software in process                  5,603            3,338
     Notes receivable                                   639              530
     Other assets                                        84               86
            Total assets                           $118,824         $124,309
 
 
                       LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
 
   Current liabilities:
        Accounts payable                            $10,176           $9,828
        Accrued expenses                              6,175            7,519
        Deferred revenues                             5,862            6,360
        Customer deposits                               204              185
        Other current liabilities                     1,429              371
            Total current liabilities                23,846           24,263
        Other long-term liabilities                     --                47
            Total liabilities                        23,846           24,310
 
     Minority interest                                8,787            8,193
 
     Commitments and contingencies
 
     Stockholders' equity:
        Common stock, $0.001 par value;
         200,000,000 shares authorized;                  20               20
         20,364,070 and 20,336,083 shares
         issued and outstanding, respectively
        Warrants                                      1,332            1,332
        Additional paid-in capital                  187,380          186,097
        Accumulated other comprehensive loss         (2,838)             (16)
        Accumulated deficit                         (99,703)         (95,627)
            Total stockholders' equity               86,191           91,806
            Total liabilities and
             stockholders' equity                  $118,824         $124,309
 
 
                                autobytel.com inc.
                       CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
              (Amounts in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
 
                                                  Three Months Ended March 31,
                                                     2001              2000
 
      Revenue                                       $16,653           $15,100
 
      Operating expenses:
         Sales and marketing                         13,346            16,874
         Product and technology development           3,988             5,033
         General and administrative                   3,604             2,766
         Restructuring costs                            992               --
              Total operating expenses               21,930            24,673
         Loss from operations                        (5,277)           (9,573)
      Interest income, net                            1,150             1,515
      Foreign currency exchange gain (loss)             717               --
      Equity losses in unconsolidated
       subsidiary                                      (500)              --
         Loss before minority interest
          losses and provision for income taxes      (3,910)           (8,058)
      Minority interest losses                         (128)              --
         Loss before provision for income
          taxes                                      (4,038)           (8,058)
      Provision for income taxes                         38                20
         Net loss                                   $(4,076)          $(8,078)
 
     Basic and diluted net loss per share            $(0.20)           $(0.42)
 
     Shares used in computing basic and
       diluted net loss per share                20,354,430        19,263,638
 
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54311023
 
 

SOURCE Autobytel.com
    IRVINE, Calif., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Autobytel.com (Nasdaq:   ABTL)
 today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2001.
     Revenue for the first quarter was $16.7 million, up 10 percent from
 revenue of $15.1 million in the same quarter of the prior year, and down
 1 percent sequentially from revenue of $16.8 million in the quarter ended
 December 31, 2000.  In the quarter, for the first time, we recognized
 $1.4 million related to an automotive consulting project.  The portion of
 total revenue from international fees and licenses and from services such as
 finance, insurance and web site development was 14 percent for the quarter.
     The operating loss in the quarter declined to $5.3 million, compared with
 an operating loss of $9.6 million in the same quarter a year ago, and an
 operating loss of $6.7 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2000.  It was
 the third consecutive quarter Autobytel.com significantly lowered its
 operating loss.
     The net loss in the first quarter was $4.1 million, or $0.20 per share,
 compared with a net loss of $8.1 million, or $0.42 per share, in the same
 quarter of the prior year, and with a net loss of $3.3 million, or $0.16 per
 share, in the quarter ended December 31, 2000.
     As of March 31, 2001, Autobytel.com's cash and cash equivalents were
 $75.1 million, including $34.6 million that is reserved for the operation of
 Autobytel Europe.  The Company used $6.9 million in cash in the first quarter.
     "In light of the difficult economic environment, we continue to be pleased
 with our results and progress," said Mark Lorimer, president and CEO of
 Autobytel.com.  "We maintained stable revenue and significantly reduced our
 operating loss and cost of customer acquisition by aligning our marketing
 costs and other expenses with the current opportunities in the marketplace."
 
     Outlook for 2001
     The Company is providing the following guidance for the second quarter of
 2001: revenue in the range of $16.0 to $16.5 million, with a per share loss in
 the range of $0.09 to $0.11.  "We expect to continue to lower our customer
 acquisition cost, and take further steps to decrease overall expenses," said
 Lorimer.  "Those steps may include continued reduction in advertising,
 marketing and other costs, and renegotiation of supplier and portal
 relationships on more favorable terms."
     "Given an uncertain outlook for both the auto industry and e-commerce in
 general, and our potential combination with Autoweb, we lack sufficient
 visibility to provide specific revenue and EPS guidance for the third and
 fourth quarters at this time," said Lorimer.  "However, as a result of our
 success in reducing costs, we moved closer to our goal of profitability, which
 we expect to achieve in the third quarter of this year.  Our strong cash
 position, increasingly efficient operations, and market leadership position
 should allow us to aggressively pursue opportunities as the market improves."
 
     First Quarter Highlights
     According to Lorimer, two recent developments highlight the Company's
 market leadership position.
     "Our recent agreement to combine with Autoweb, which we expect to close
 early in the third quarter, will not only expand our market share lead and
 extend our dealer network, it should make Autobytel.com a leader in automotive
 information services and provide us with significant manufacturer
 relationships," he said.  "Furthermore, we reiterate our belief that the
 combined companies will achieve profitability in the third quarter."
     "Also, our recent agreement with General Motors to test the
 locate-to-order business model in the Washington, D.C. market demonstrates our
 unique ability to partner with and provide valuable services to the auto
 manufacturers," continued Lorimer.  "We believe that our brand and marketing
 strengths, technology development expertise, and ability to work with dealer
 networks through training, management and customer services make Autobytel.com
 an attractive partner for others in the industry, potentially providing a
 source of high margin growth in the future."
 
     Conference Call
     A conference call to discuss first quarter 2001 financial results will be
 web cast live on Thursday, April 26, 2001, at 4:30 PM EDT.  Links to the web
 cast conference call follow:
 
     http://www.videonewswire.com/AUTOBYTEL/042601/
     http://www.vcall.com/NASApp/VCall/EventPage?ID=73440
 
     Replays will be available at both links for 90 days.  A replay of the call
 will also be available through May 26, 2001 by dialing (800) 642-1687 or
 (706) 645-9291, code #790546
 
     About autobytel.com inc.
     autobytel.com inc. (Nasdaq:   ABTL), the global leader in online automotive
 commerce, brings car buyers, owners, and sellers together in a trusted
 environment, empowered by the Internet.  Through its extensive automotive
 content and multiple purchasing, financing, insurance and service options,
 Autobytel.com offers consumers choice and peace of mind throughout the
 automotive lifecycle, while providing its network of accredited dealers and
 automotive services partners the most efficient way to reach online car buyers
 and owners.  Autobytel.com and its wholly-owned subsidiary, A.I.N. Corporation
 (Carsmart), have a network of dealers nationwide and are the seventh largest
 generator of automotive sales in the United States, just behind GM, Ford,
 DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Honda and Nissan.  Autobytel.com has been ranked #1
 in Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services for three years in a row by
 J.D. Power and Associates.(1)  Autobytel.com's low-cost, no-haggle car-buying
 program is available in the U.S., Canada (www.autobytel.ca), the United
 Kingdom (www.autobytel.co.uk), Sweden (www.autobytel.se), Netherlands
 (www.autobytel.nl), Japan (www.autobytel-japan.com), Australia
 (www.autobytel.com.au) and Spain (www.autobytel.es).  Headquartered in Irvine,
 California, Autobytel.com is recognized as the company that transformed the
 $1 trillion new car industry when it invented online car buying.
 
     (1) J.D. Power and Associates 1998 - 2000 Dealer Satisfaction With Online
 Buying Services Studies(SM).  2000 study conducted among dealership Internet
 specialists who completed 2,144 evaluations of individual services.
 www.jdpower.com.
 
    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 are not guarantees of future performance and
 involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to
 predict.  Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is
 expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements.  Autobytel.com
 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, increased or unexpected competition, the
 failure to realize anticipated synergies related to the proposed merger with
 Autoweb, failure to obtain required stockholder or regulatory approvals or the
 merger not closing for any other reason, failure of the combined company to
 retain and hire key employees, difficulties in successfully integrating the
 parties' businesses and technologies and other matters disclosed in
 Autobytel.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 Investors are strongly encouraged to review our annual report on Form 10-K for
 the year ended December 31, 2000, and other reports on file with the
 Securities and Exchange Commission for a discussion of risks and uncertainties
 that could affect operating results and the market price of our stock.
 
 
                                autobytel.com inc.
                            CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
              (Amounts in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
                                      ASSETS
 
                                                   March 31,      December 31,
                                                     2001             2000
 
     Current assets:
        Cash and cash equivalents,
         includes restricted amounts of
         $16,028 and $15,029, respectively          $75,082          $81,945
        Accounts receivable, net of
         allowance for doubtful accounts of
         $1,821 and $1,494, respectively              7,405            6,638
        Prepaid expenses and other current
         assets                                       3,481            4,127
            Total current assets                     85,968           92,710
     Property and equipment, net                      2,031            2,537
     Investments                                      1,165            1,353
     Goodwill, net                                   23,334           23,755
     Capitalized software in process                  5,603            3,338
     Notes receivable                                   639              530
     Other assets                                        84               86
            Total assets                           $118,824         $124,309
 
 
                       LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
 
   Current liabilities:
        Accounts payable                            $10,176           $9,828
        Accrued expenses                              6,175            7,519
        Deferred revenues                             5,862            6,360
        Customer deposits                               204              185
        Other current liabilities                     1,429              371
            Total current liabilities                23,846           24,263
        Other long-term liabilities                     --                47
            Total liabilities                        23,846           24,310
 
     Minority interest                                8,787            8,193
 
     Commitments and contingencies
 
     Stockholders' equity:
        Common stock, $0.001 par value;
         200,000,000 shares authorized;                  20               20
         20,364,070 and 20,336,083 shares
         issued and outstanding, respectively
        Warrants                                      1,332            1,332
        Additional paid-in capital                  187,380          186,097
        Accumulated other comprehensive loss         (2,838)             (16)
        Accumulated deficit                         (99,703)         (95,627)
            Total stockholders' equity               86,191           91,806
            Total liabilities and
             stockholders' equity                  $118,824         $124,309
 
 
                                autobytel.com inc.
                       CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
              (Amounts in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
 
                                                  Three Months Ended March 31,
                                                     2001              2000
 
      Revenue                                       $16,653           $15,100
 
      Operating expenses:
         Sales and marketing                         13,346            16,874
         Product and technology development           3,988             5,033
         General and administrative                   3,604             2,766
         Restructuring costs                            992               --
              Total operating expenses               21,930            24,673
         Loss from operations                        (5,277)           (9,573)
      Interest income, net                            1,150             1,515
      Foreign currency exchange gain (loss)             717               --
      Equity losses in unconsolidated
       subsidiary                                      (500)              --
         Loss before minority interest
          losses and provision for income taxes      (3,910)           (8,058)
      Minority interest losses                         (128)              --
         Loss before provision for income
          taxes                                      (4,038)           (8,058)
      Provision for income taxes                         38                20
         Net loss                                   $(4,076)          $(8,078)
 
     Basic and diluted net loss per share            $(0.20)           $(0.42)
 
     Shares used in computing basic and
       diluted net loss per share                20,354,430        19,263,638
 
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54311023
 
 SOURCE  Autobytel.com