Autobytel (AUTO) and Its Rivals Critical Review

Autobytel (NASDAQ: AUTO) is one of 37 public companies in the “Advertising & Marketing” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its peers? We will compare Autobytel to related companies based on the strength of its institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation, risk, earnings, profitability and dividends.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

57.2% of Autobytel shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 59.1% of shares of all “Advertising & Marketing” companies are held by institutional investors. 12.8% of Autobytel shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 22.1% of shares of all “Advertising & Marketing” companies are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Autobytel has a beta of 0.97, meaning that its stock price is 3% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Autobytel’s peers have a beta of 1.05, meaning that their average stock price is 5% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Autobytel and its peers gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Autobytel N/A N/A 18.70
Autobytel Competitors $1.13 billion $156.00 million 23.33

Autobytel’s peers have higher revenue and earnings than Autobytel. Autobytel is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Profitability

This table compares Autobytel and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Autobytel 3.15% 10.96% 8.20%
Autobytel Competitors -11.24% -11.21% -4.29%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Autobytel and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Autobytel 0 1 1 0 2.50
Autobytel Competitors 48 430 887 16 2.63

Autobytel currently has a consensus target price of $12.00, indicating a potential upside of 73.41%. As a group, “Advertising & Marketing” companies have a potential upside of 13.53%. Given Autobytel’s higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Autobytel is more favorable than its peers.

Summary

Autobytel peers beat Autobytel on 8 of the 12 factors compared.

About Autobytel

AutoWeb, Inc., formerly Autobytel Inc., is an automotive marketing services company that assists automotive retail dealers and automotive manufacturers market and sell new and used vehicles to consumers through the programs for online lead referrals, dealer marketing products and services, and online advertising programs and mobile products. The Company operates through providing automotive marketing services segment. Its consumer-facing automotive Websites, including Website Autobytel.com, provide consumers with information and tools to aid them with the automotive purchase decisions and ability to submit inquiries requesting dealers to contact the consumers regarding purchasing or leasing vehicles. Its AutoWeb pay-per-click advertising marketplace program uses technology to refer consumer traffic to dealers and manufacturer Websites.

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