Autobytel Sees Online Advertising Revenue Plunge

Irvine-based Autobytel released its quarterly results Thursday, revealing that the firm saw a 35 percent plunge in its advertising revenue, and a 23 percent drop in leads referral revenues last quarter. The firm, which operates a series of automobile related sites, said it had a net loss of $15M on revenues of $14.2M in Q4. Autobytel blamed the steep drop in ad revenues of lower traffic to the company's websites, partially due to reduced search engine marketing activities. For the year, the firm said it lost $79.9M on revenues of $71.1M. Autobytel has recently been trying to salvage the firm's business; in September, the firm cut 35% of its staff; in December, it swapped its CEO and chopped 25 percent of its staff, and until January was trying to sell the company. The firm owns,,,,,, and