Whats Driving Cars.com Into the Ground

Print Email

Cars.com Inc. (NYSE: CARS) reported its second-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Monday. The firm said that it had a net loss of $0.09 per share and $148.2 million in revenue, while the consensus estimates had called for $0.09 in earnings per share and $160.05 million in revenue. In the same period of last year, it said it had earnings of $0.18 per share and revenue of $168.51 million.

During the most recent quarter, average monthly unique visitors increased 13% year over year to 21.6 million. Traffic (visits) increased 16% to 130.6 million, and SEO grew 51%. Mobile traffic was 71% of total traffic, compared to 67% in the second quarter of 2018.

Dealer customers totaled 18,891 by the end of the quarter, compared with 19,300 in the first quarter. Management says this was due to softness in April. Direct marketplace dealer customers grew in May and June

Direct monthly average revenue per dealer was $2,052, down 2% year over year, excluding revenue from dealer websites and related digital solutions from Dealer Inspire. When revenue from dealer websites and related digital solutions is included, average revenue per dealer was $2,163 for the second quarter of 2019.

Alex Vetter, president and CEO, commented:

Our strategy is yielding results across multiple metrics including sustained growth in overall site traffic, SEO traffic, leads and important dealer metrics which reinforce confidence in our strategic priorities, execution and vision. While many trends are positive, continued reductions in OEM advertising and delayed OEM certifications that facilitate sales to thousands of franchise dealers on a preferred basis, have impacted our 2019 outlook. We have taken action to convert the remaining affiliate markets one year ahead of schedule, which will benefit revenue in 2019. We are focused on executing our strategy to return to revenue growth and achieve double-digit Adjusted EBITDA growth in 2020.

Shares of Cars.com traded down about 36% Monday morning to $11.59, in a 52-week range of $11.10 to $29.54. The consensus price target is $27.31.


I'm interested in the Newsletter