Dealertrack sees 4Q loss despite jump in sales

Lake Success-based Dealertrack Inc., one of Long Island's Lake Success-based Dealertrack Inc., one of Long Island's fastest-growing software makers, said that its fourth-quarter revenue jumped sharply as car sales grew and more dealers bought its programs. Photo Credit: Newsday, 2012

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Dealertrack Technologies Inc., one of Long Island's fastest-growing software makers, said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter revenue jumped sharply as car sales grew and more dealers bought its programs.

The Lake Success company said revenue rose to $126.1 million during the three months that ended in December, up nearly 24 percent from the same period last year.

"We are pleased to report a strong fourth quarter and finish to 2013," Dealertrack chairman and chief executive Mark F. O'Neil said in a statement.

Despite the rise in sales, Dealertrack reported a $3.7-million loss for the fourth quarter as a rise in operating expenses outpaced revenue gains.

The company's fourth-quarter sales beat the expectations of analysts, who had forecast revenue of $123.2 million.

Dealertrack issued its earnings after the stock market closed. Its stock rose 1.58 percent after the close of regular trading, to $47.50.

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Dealertrack is Long Island's 11th largest company by stock market value. Its annual sales have nearly doubled since 2008, to $481.5 million for 2013.

Auto dealers use its software to submit credit applications, process motor vehicle registrations and perform a variety of other functions. The company's revenue is based partly on the number of times dealers use its system to process transactions. So when car sales rise, Dealertrack's revenue typically follows suit.

Dealertrack has expanded aggressively by acquiring more than 20 companies since it launched in 2001.

Next month the company is scheduled to close on its biggest acquisition to date, buying a Burlington, Vt.-based website-design company, Dealer.com, for about $1 billion.

The company expects the move to help boost Dealertrack's sales by up to 69 percent this year, to between $800 million and $816 million.

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