Why TrueCar Is Tuesday's Biggest Earnings Loser

When TrueCar Inc. (NASDAQ: TRUE) reported its third-quarter financial results late on Monday, the company said that it had $0.02 in earnings per share (EPS) and $82.4 million in revenue. That compares with a consensus forecast from Thomson Reuters of $0.01 in EPS on revenue of $86.98 million. The same period of last year reportedly had a net loss of $0.01 per share on $75.14 million in revenue.

Average monthly unique visitors increased 1% to 7.7 million in the third quarter of 2017, up from 7.6 million year over year. Units were 253,527, up 15% from 220,633 in the third quarter of 2016.

Franchise dealer count was 12,286 at the end of the quarter, a record and an increase from 12,204 as of the June 2017 quarter. Independent dealer count was 2,938, a record and an increase from 2,860 sequentially.

In terms of the guidance for the fourth quarter, TrueCar expects units to be in the range of 240,000 to 245,000 and revenues of between $81 million and $83 million. The consensus estimates call for breakeven earnings and $84.21 million in revenue for the quarter.

On the books, TrueCar’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $196.4 million at the end of the quarter, up from with $107.7 million at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Chip Perry, TrueCar’s president and CEO, commented:

We believe that ultimately the company that is going to attract the most marketing dollars from the auto industry must provide an amazing, comprehensive online car buying experience for consumers, whether they are buying a new or used car, while also helping to solve the significant marketing challenges that dealers and auto manufacturers face. At TrueCar we have a clear vision of where we want to take the consumer experience in order to win in this category.

Shares of TrueCar closed Monday at $16.34, with a consensus analyst price target of $19.70 and a 52-week range of $10.37 to $21.75. Following the announcement, the stock was down over 30% at $11.25 in early trading indications Tuesday.