Reviewing Autobytel (AUTO) & MDC Partners (MDCA)

Autobytel (NASDAQ: AUTO) and MDC Partners (NASDAQ:MDCA) are both small-cap auto/tires/trucks companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Autobytel and MDC Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Autobytel 0 1 1 0 2.50
MDC Partners 0 4 2 0 2.33

Autobytel presently has a consensus price target of $12.00, indicating a potential upside of 60.00%. MDC Partners has a consensus price target of $11.17, indicating a potential upside of 1.52%. Given Autobytel’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Autobytel is more favorable than MDC Partners.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Autobytel and MDC Partners’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Autobytel $156.68 million 0.63 $3.87 million $0.17 44.12
MDC Partners $1.39 billion 0.46 -$47.94 million $0.32 34.38

Autobytel has higher revenue, but lower earnings than MDC Partners. MDC Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Autobytel, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

57.2% of Autobytel shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 83.7% of MDC Partners shares are held by institutional investors. 20.7% of Autobytel shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.4% of MDC Partners shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Autobytel and MDC Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Autobytel 1.51% 7.53% 5.71%
MDC Partners 1.79% -7.92% 2.42%

Risk & Volatility

Autobytel has a beta of 1.01, suggesting that its stock price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, MDC Partners has a beta of 1.47, suggesting that its stock price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Autobytel Company Profile

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.

MDC Partners Company Profile

MDC Partners Inc. is a provider of global marketing, advertising, activation, communications and strategic consulting solutions. The Company and its subsidiary agencies (Partner Firms) deliver a range of customized services. The Company’s segments include Reportable Segment, All Other and Corporate. The Reportable segment consists of the Company’s integrated advertising, media and public relations service companies. The All Other segment consists of the companies that provide the Company’s specialist marketing offerings, such as direct marketing, sales promotion, market research, strategic communications, database and customer relationship management, data analytics and insights, corporate identity, and design and branding. The Reportable segment includes the operations of various companies, such as Allison & Partners, Anomaly, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Doner, Forsman & Bodenfors, Hunter PR, kbs, MDC Media Partners and 72andSunny.

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