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Wednesday, 17 March 2004
March 17, 2004 Autobytel (ABTL)

Hello Friends! We certainly are having a nice day in the market. And it even seems like it may hold into the last hour for a change. The Dow as I am writing, is at 10,301.85, up 117.18 on the day, and the NASDAQ is at 1973.81, up 30.72 points.

Scanning through the lists again, I came across Autobytel (ABTL). I do not own any shares but it seems like an interesting selection.

According to the money.cnn.com "snapshot", ABTL's principal activity is to "...provide automotive marketing services over the Internet. It provides the services through four web-sites it owns and operates: Autobytel.com, Autoweb.com, CarSmart.com and AutoSite.com. The sites help automobile dealers to sell cars using marketing and customer relationship management tools and programs."
Currently, as I write, ABTL is trading at $12.93, up $.96 or 8.02% on the day.

On January 29, 2004, ABTL reported fourth quarter 2003 results. Revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2003, totaled $23.9 million, a 4% sequential increase and a 20% increase over the prior year revenues of $20.0 million in 2002. Net income for the fourth quarter was $3.8 million or $.09/share, compared to net income of $0.5 million or $.01/share in 2002.

Looking at "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar.com, we see that revenue has been steadily increasing from $23.8 million in 1998 to $85.0 million in the trailing twelve months. Earnings have increased from a loss of $(1.45)/share in 2000 to a profit of $.11/share in the trailing twelve months. Free cash flow has also improved with $(26) million reported in 2000, $(22) million in 2001, $(4) million in 2002 and $7 million in the trailing twelve months.

The balance sheet presented on Morningstar looks great with $58.9 million in cash as well as $9.7 million in other current assets, balanced against $13.4 million in current liabilities and only $200,000 in long-term liabilities.

Looking at "Key Statistics" on Yahoo.com, we can see that the Market Cap is a small $488.16 million. The trailing p/e is steep at 67.96, but the growth is so RAPID that the forward p/e (fye 31-DEC-04) is only 27.09, giving a PEG (5 yr anticipated) of only 0.91. Price/sales still rich at 5.06.

Yahoo reports 37.61 million shares outstanding with 35.30 million of them that float. As of 2/9/04, there were 1.70 million shares out short representing 4.82% of the float or 2.084 trading days. This is up from the prior month's level of 1.18 million shares out short. No cash dividend is paid and no stock dividends are reported on Yahoo.

Looking at a point and figure chart, we can see that this stock was heading lower when it first broke through resistance in January, 2002, when it passed through the $3 level. Again, in early 2003 it broke through a similar resistance level at about $3.25 and has headed higher steadily since then.

Overall, I like this stock. It is growing nicely and we are catching it as it first turns positive in terms of earnings. The expected earnings growth is quite high as noted by the PEG under 1.0. The company is now spinning off positive cash flow and has a wonderful balance sheet.

Remember to please do your own due diligence and investigate this and all other stock picks on this BLOG prior to committing any of your own money. Use Investment Professionals as well! If you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement, please email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 1:40 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

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