Autobytel Inc. (NASDAQ:ABTL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Autobytel, Inc. is an internationally branded online automotive commerce company that provides consumers with automotive solutions throughout the lifecycle of vehicle ownership. The company owns Internet sites for new and pre-owned vehicle information and automotive services that link buyers and sellers in an information-rich environment. Through the company’s Web sites consumers can research pricing, specifications and other information regarding new and pre-owned vehicles and purchase, finance, lease, insure, sell or maintain their vehicles. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. B. Riley reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $20.00 price objective on shares of Autobytel in a research report on Wednesday, May 10th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Autobytel from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday.

Shares of Autobytel (ABTL) traded down 0.17% during trading on Monday, hitting $12.03. 137,510 shares of the stock were exchanged. Autobytel has a 52-week low of $10.72 and a 52-week high of $18.39. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $12.95 and a 200-day moving average of $13.00. The stock has a market cap of $133.18 million, a PE ratio of 33.51 and a beta of 0.93.

Autobytel (NASDAQ:ABTL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 4th. The information services provider reported $0.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.19 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $37.34 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $35.05 million. Autobytel had a net margin of 3.19% and a return on equity of 11.95%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.21 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Autobytel will post $1.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Jeffrey M. Stibel sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $12.98, for a total value of $51,920.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 5,000 shares in the company, valued at $64,900. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CAO Glenn Evan Fuller sold 13,907 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $13.75, for a total transaction of $191,221.25. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 20,607 shares in the company, valued at approximately $283,346.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 80,778 shares of company stock worth $1,060,935 in the last 90 days. 12.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its position in Autobytel by 89.5% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 47,384 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $594,000 after buying an additional 22,375 shares during the period. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. purchased a new position in Autobytel during the first quarter worth $130,000. Lyon Street Capital LLC boosted its position in Autobytel by 3.7% in the first quarter. Lyon Street Capital LLC now owns 519,602 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $6,511,000 after buying an additional 18,600 shares during the period. First Wilshire Securities Management Inc. boosted its position in Autobytel by 348.0% in the first quarter. First Wilshire Securities Management Inc. now owns 97,514 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $1,222,000 after buying an additional 75,747 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in Autobytel by 70.1% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 94,400 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $1,183,000 after buying an additional 38,900 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.86% of the company’s stock.

Autobytel Company Profile

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.

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