AUTO 10-K
 

 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549 
 
FORM 10-K
 
(Mark One)
 
            
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017
or
 
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the transition period from              to             
 
Commission File Number 1-34761 
 
               
 
AutoWeb, Inc.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
 
Delaware
 
33-0711569
(State of Incorporation)
 
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
18872 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 200
Irvine, California 92612-1400
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
 
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (949) 225-4500
 
 Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
 
 
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share
 
The Nasdaq Capital Market
 
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  
 
 
 
 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (section 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).     Yes     No  
 
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
 
Large accelerated filer
Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
 
 
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
 Emerging growth company
                                                                     
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes      No  
 
Based on the closing sale price of $12.61 for our common stock on The Nasdaq Capital Market on June 30, 2017, the aggregate market value of outstanding shares of common stock held by non-affiliates was approximately $140 million.
 
As of March 12, 2018, 13,074,558 shares of our common stock were outstanding.
 
Documents Incorporated by Reference
 
Portions of our Definitive Proxy Statement for the 2018 Annual Meeting, expected to be filed within 120 days of our fiscal year end, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 

 
 
 
 
AutoWeb, Inc.
 
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017
 
 
 
 
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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) encourages companies to disclose forward-looking information so that investors can better understand a company’s future prospects and make informed investment decisions. This Annual Report on Form 10-K and our proxy statement, parts of which are incorporated herein by reference, contain such forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipates,” “could,” “may,”  “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “intends,” “pending,” “plans,” “believes,” “will” and words of similar substance, or the negative of those words, used in connection with any discussion of future operations or financial performance identify forward-looking statements. In particular, statements regarding expectations and opportunities, new product expectations and capabilities, and our outlook regarding our performance and growth are forward-looking statements. This Annual Report on Form 10-K also contains statements regarding plans, goals and objectives. There is no assurance that we will be able to carry out our plans or achieve our goals and objectives or that we will be able to do so successfully on a profitable basis. These forward-looking statements are just predictions and involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and actual results may differ materially from these statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in forward-looking statements include but are not limited to, those discussed in “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Investors are urged not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they were made. Except as may be required by law, we do not undertake any obligation, and expressly disclaim any obligation, to update or alter any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All forward-looking statements contained herein are qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements.
 
PART I
 
Item 1.                      Business
 
AutoWeb, Inc. was incorporated in 1996 under the laws of the State of Delaware. Unless specified otherwise, as used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the terms “we,” “us,” “our,” the “Company” or “AutoWeb” refer to AutoWeb, Inc. and its subsidiaries.
 
On October 9, 2017, the Company changed its name from Autobytel Inc. to AutoWeb, Inc., assuming the name of AutoWeb, Inc., which was the name of the company that was acquired by the Company in October 2015. In connection with this name change, the Company’s stock ticker symbol was changed from “ABTL” to “AUTO” on The Nasdaq Capital Market.
 
Overview
 
We are a digital marketing company for the automotive industry that assists automotive retail dealers (“Dealers”) and automotive manufacturers (“Manufacturers”) market and sell new and used vehicles to consumers by utilizing our digital sales enhancing products and services. Our consumer-facing automotive websites (“Company Websites”) provide consumers with information and tools to aid them with their automotive purchase decisions and gives in-market consumers the ability to connect with Dealers regarding purchasing or leasing vehicles. These consumers are connected to Dealers via our various programs for online lead referrals (“Leads”). The Company’s AutoWeb® consumer traffic referral product (“AutoWeb Traffic Product”) engages with car buyers from AutoWeb’s network of automotive websites and uses our proprietary technology to present them with highly relevant offers based on their make and model of interest and their geographic location. We then direct these in-market consumers to key areas of a Dealer’s or Manufacturer’s website to maximize conversion for sales, service or other products or services.
 
Available Information
 
Our corporate website is located at www.autoweb.com. Information on our website is not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. At or through the Investor Relations section of our website we make available free of charge our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to these reports as soon as practicable after this material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC and The Nasdaq Stock Market. Our Code of Conduct and Ethics is available at the Corporate Governance link of the Investor Relations section of our website, and a copy of the code may also be obtained, free of charge, by writing to the Corporate Secretary, AutoWeb, Inc., 18872 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 200, Irvine, California 92612-1400.
 
 
 
 
Significant Business Developments
 
DealerX
 
On October 5, 2017, the Company and DealerX Partners, LLC, a Florida limited liability company (“DealerX”), entered into a Master License and Services Agreement (“DealerX License Agreement”). Pursuant to the terms of the DealerX License Agreement, AutoWeb was granted a perpetual license to access and use DealerX’s proprietary platform and technology for targeted, online marketing. DealerX will operate the platform for AutoWeb and provide enhancements to and support for the DealerX platform for at least an initial five-year period (“Platform Support Obligations”). See Note 5 of the “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” in Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Stock Repurchase
 
On June 7, 2012, the Company announced that its board of directors had authorized the Company to repurchase up to $2.0 million of the Company’s common stock, and on September 17, 2014, the Company announced that its board of directors had approved the repurchase of up to an additional $1.0 million of the Company’s common stock.  On September 6, 2017, the Company announced that its board of directors authorized the Company to repurchase an additional $3.0 million of the Company’s common stock. Under these repurchase programs, we may repurchase common stock from time to time on the open market or in private transactions. These authorizations do not require us to purchase a specific number of shares, and the board of directors may suspend, modify or terminate the programs at any time. We will fund future repurchases through the use of available cash.  During 2017, we repurchased 226,698 shares for an aggregate price of $1.9 million. The average price paid for all shares repurchased during 2017 was $8.37. The shares repurchased during 2017 were cancelled and returned to authorized and unissued shares.
 
 Industry Background
 
   We believe that consumers engaged in the vehicle purchasing process have adopted the internet, primarily because the internet is one of the best methods to easily find the information necessary to make informed buying decisions. Additionally, the internet is a primary tool for consumers to begin communicating with local Dealers regarding vehicle pricing, availability, options and financing. J.D. Power and Associates reported in 2017 that 78% of automotive consumer buyers surveyed use third party websites for vehicle research. In addition, we believe that many Dealers and all major Manufacturers that market their vehicles in the U.S. use the internet as an efficient way to reach consumers through marketing programs. According to Automotive News, U.S. light vehicle sales were 17.2 million in 2017, a decrease from 17.5 million vehicles sold in 2016.  J.D. Power/LMC Automotive are forecasting 2018 U.S. total light vehicle sales and retail light-vehicle sales at 17.0 million and 13.7 million, respectively.  
 
 Products and Services
 
Leads are internally-generated from our Company Websites (“Internally-Generated Leads”) or acquired from third parties (“Non-Internally-Generated Leads”) that generate Leads from their websites (“Non-Company Websites”). We sell Internally-Generated Leads and Non-Internally-Generated Leads directly to Dealers and indirectly to Dealers through a wholesale market consisting of Manufacturers and other third parties in the automotive Lead distribution industry.  The AutoWeb Traffic Product links consumers to Dealers and Manufacturer websites when the consumers click on advertisements on Company Websites as well as websites operated by third parties that have contracted with the Company as publishers under the AutoWeb Traffic Product. In addition to our Leads and AutoWeb Traffic Product programs, we also offer Dealers and Manufacturers other products and services, including WebLeads+ and Payment Pro®, to assist them in capturing online, in-market customers and selling more vehicles by improving conversion of Leads to sale transactions.
 
Lead Programs
 
We provide Dealers and Manufacturers with opportunities to market their vehicles efficiently to potential vehicle buyers.  Dealers participate in our Lead programs, and Manufacturers participate in our Lead programs, our display advertising programs and our direct marketing programs, reaching consumers that are in the market to acquire a vehicle.  For consumers, we provide, at no cost to the consumer, an easy way to obtain valuable information to assist them in their vehicle shopping process. Leads may be submitted by consumers through our Company Websites or through Non-Company Websites. For consumers using our Company Websites, we provide research information, including vehicle specification data, safety data, pricing data, photos, videos, regional rebate and incentive data, and additional tools, such as the compare and configuration tools, to assist them in this process.  We also provide additional content on our Company Websites, including our database of articles, such as consumer and professional reviews, and other analyses.  Additional automotive information is also available on our Company Websites to assist consumers with specific vehicle research, such as the trade-in value of their current vehicle.
 
 
 
 
New Vehicle Leads Program. Our Leads program for new vehicles allows consumers to submit requests for pricing and availability of specific makes and models.  A new vehicle Lead provides a Dealer with information regarding the make and model of a vehicle in which the consumer is interested, and may also include additional data regarding the consumer’s needs, including any vehicle trade-in, whether the consumer wishes to lease or buy, and other options that are important to the vehicle acquisition decision. A Lead will usually also include the consumer’s name, phone number and email address and may include a postal address.
 
Dealers participating in our new vehicle Leads program are provided with iControl by AutoWeb, our proprietary technology that allows Dealers many options to filter and control the volume and source of their Leads. iControl by AutoWeb can be controlled at the dealership (or by a representative of AutoWeb on behalf of the dealership), at the Dealer group level from a web-based, easy-to-use console that makes it quick and simple for dealerships to change their Lead acquisition strategy to adjust for inventory conditions at their dealerships and broader industry patterns (such as changes in gas prices or changes in consumer demand). From the console, dealerships can easily contract or expand territories and increase, restrict or block specific models and Lead web sources, making it much easier to target inventory challenges and focus marketing resources more efficiently.
 
Our Leads are subject to quality verification that is designed to maintain the high-quality of our Leads and increase the Lead buy rates for our Lead customers. Quality verification includes the validation of name, phone number, email address and postal address. Our quality verification also involves proprietary systems as well as arrangements with third party vendors specializing in customer validation. After a Lead has been subjected to quality verification, if we have placement coverage for the Lead within our own Dealer network, we send the Lead to Dealers that sell the type of vehicle requested in the consumer’s geographic area. We also send an email message to the consumer with the Dealer’s name and phone number, and if the Dealer has a dedicated internet manager, the name of that manager. Dealers contact the consumer with a price quote and availability information for the requested vehicle. In addition to sales of Leads directly to Dealers in our network, we also sell Leads wholesale to Manufacturers for delivery to their Dealers and to third parties that have placement coverage for the Lead with their own customers.
 
  Dealers participate in our retail new vehicle Lead program by entering into contracts directly with us or through major Dealer groups. Generally, our Dealer contracts may be terminated by either party on 30 days’ notice and are non-exclusive. The majority of our retail new vehicle Lead revenues consists of either a monthly subscription or a per-Lead fee paid by Dealers in our network; however, under our pay-per-sale program, we offer a limited number of Dealers in states where we are permitted to charge on a per transaction basis the opportunity to pay a flat per transaction fee for a Lead that results in a vehicle sale. We reserve the right to adjust our fees to Dealers upon 30 days’ prior notice at any time during the term of the contract. Manufacturers (directly or through their marketing agencies) and other third parties participate in our wholesale new vehicle Lead programs generally by entering into agreements where either party has the right to terminate upon prior notice, with the length of time for the notice varying by contract. Revenues from retail new vehicle Leads accounted for 19%, 22% and 27% of total revenues in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Revenues from wholesale Leads accounted for 46%, 46% and 47% of total revenues in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.
 
We measure Lead quality by the conversion of Leads to actual vehicle sales, which we refer to as the “buy rate.” Buy rate is the percentage of the consumers submitting Leads that we delivered to our customers represented by the number of these consumers who purchased vehicles within ninety days of the date of the Lead submission.  We rely on detailed feedback from Manufacturers and wholesale customers to confirm the performance of our Leads.  Our Manufacturer and wholesale customers match the Leads we deliver to our customers against vehicle sales to provide us with information about vehicle purchases by the consumers who submitted Leads that we delivered to these customers.  We also obtain vehicle registration data from a third party provider. This information, together with our internal analysis allows us to estimate the buy rates for the consumers who submitted the Internally-Generated Leads and Non-Internally Generated Leads that we delivered to our customers, and based on these estimates, to estimate an industry average buy rate. Based on the most current information and our internal analysis, we have estimated that, on average, consumers who submit Internally-Generated Leads that we deliver to our customers have an estimated buy rate of approximately 19%.  Buy rates that individual Dealers may achieve can be impacted by factors such as the strength of processes and procedures within the dealership to manage communications and follow up with consumers.
 
 In addition, we report a number of key metrics to our customers, allowing them to gain a better understanding of the revenue opportunities that they may realize by acquiring Leads from us.  We can now optimize the mix of Leads we deliver to our customers based on multiple sources of quality measurements. Also, by reporting the buying behavior of potential consumers, the findings also can help shape improvements to online Lead management, online advertising and dealership sales process training.  By providing actionable data, we place useful information in the hands of our customers.
 
 
 
 
During 2017, we continued to focus our Dealer acquisition and retention strategies on dealerships to which we could deliver a higher percentage of our Internally-Generated Leads.  We believe this will result in increased vehicle sales for our Dealers and ultimately stronger relationships with us because, based on our evaluation of  the performance data and information discussed above, we believe our Internally-Generated Leads are of  high-quality.  
 
Used Vehicle Leads Program. Our used vehicle Lead program allows consumers to search for used vehicles according to specific search parameters, such as the price, make, model, mileage, year and location of the vehicle. The consumer is able to locate and display the description, price and, if available, digital images of vehicles that satisfy the consumer’s search parameters.  The consumer can then submit a Lead for additional information regarding a vehicle that we then deliver to the Dealer offering the vehicle. In addition to sending Leads directly to Dealers through our Lead delivery system, consumers may choose to contact the Dealer using a toll free number posted next to the vehicle search results. We charge each Dealer that participates in the used Vehicle Leads program a monthly subscription or per Lead fee.  Revenues from used vehicle Leads accounted for 9%, 10% and 11% of total revenues in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.
 
Other Dealer Products and Services
 
In addition to Leads and AutoWeb Traffic Product programs, we also offer products and services that assist Dealers in connecting with in-market consumers and closing vehicle sales.
 
WebLeads+. Designed to work in connection with a Dealer’s participation in our Lead programs, WebLeads+ offers a Dealer multiple coupon options that display relevant marketing messages to consumers visiting the Dealer’s website.  When a Dealer uses WebLeads+, consumers visiting the Dealer’s website are encouraged to take action in two ways.  First, while interacting with the Dealer website, a consumer is presented with a customized special offer formatted for easy Lead submission. If a vehicle quote is requested, the Lead goes directly into the dealership management tool so a salesperson can promptly address the customer’s questions.  Second, if the consumer leaves the Dealer’s website but remains online, the WebLeads+ product keeps the coupon active in a new browser, providing the Dealer a repeat branding opportunity and giving the consumer an easy way to re-engage with the Dealer’s website through submission of a Lead.  The additional Leads generated by the coupons are seamlessly integrated into our Extranet tool.
 
Payment Pro®. Payment Pro® is a Dealer website conversion tool based on a third party product that offers consumers real-time online monthly payment information based on an instant evaluation process.  The payments are based on the consumer’s credit, the actual vehicle being researched and the Dealer finance rates without requiring the consumer to provide personal information, such as date of birth or social security number. The Lead goes directly into the Dealer’s management tool so that a salesperson can promptly address the consumer’s inquiry.
 
Advertising Programs
 
Our Company Websites attract an audience of prospective automotive buyers that advertisers can target through display advertising. A primary way advertisers use our Company Websites to reach consumers is through vehicle content targetingThis allows automotive marketers to reach consumers while they are researching one of our comprehensive automotive segments such as mini-vans or SUVs and offer Manufacturers sponsorship opportunities to assist in their efforts both in terms of customer retention and conquest strategies. Our Company Websites also offer Manufacturers the opportunity to feature their makes and models within highly contextual content. Through their advertising placements, Manufacturers can direct consumers to their respective websites for further information. We believe this transfer of consumers from our Company Websites to Manufacturer sites is the most significant action measured by Manufacturers in evaluating our performance and value for the Manufacturer’s marketing programs. Through our agreement with Jumpstart Automotive Group (“Jumpstart”), Jumpstart sells our fixed placement advertising across our Company Websites to automotive advertisers. Jumpstart has informed us that Jumpstart currently reaches approximately 44 million unique visitors per month and works with every major automotive Manufacturer across its portfolio of digital publishers.  We also offer a direct marketing platform that enables Manufacturers to selectively target in-market consumers during the often-extended vehicle shopping process. Designed to keep a specific automotive brand in consideration, our direct marketing programs allow automotive marketers to deliver specific communication through either email or direct mail formats to in-market consumers during their purchase cycle.
 
 Our AutoWeb Traffic Product is our pay-per-click advertising program. The AutoWeb Traffic Product utilizes proprietary technology to offer consumers who are shopping targeted offers based on make, model and geographic location. As these consumers are conducting research on one of AutoWeb’s consumer facing websites or on the site of one of our network of automotive publishers, they are presented with relevant offers on a timely basis and, upon the consumer clicking on the displayed advertisement, are sent to the appropriate website location of one of our Dealer, Manufacturer or advertising customers. The AutoWeb network of publisher websites reaches and engages with millions of potential car buyers each month, and we believe it provides high-intent, quality traffic that Dealers and other customers cannot typically reach through their own marketing efforts. The AutoWeb Traffic Product is flexible and in addition to driving traffic to a vehicle detail page, it can also send website traffic to new vehicle sales, service, used vehicles or to any other department where a customer wants to engage with in-market consumers. In addition, we believe that the AutoWeb Traffic Product can be used to conquest competitive shoppers who are researching another brand more effectively than can typically be done using other search engines. Advertisers only pay for the clicks they receive, and are able to structure campaigns with flexible budgets and no long-term commitments in order to manage spend versus key performance indicators. Ongoing feedback from our customers is that this traffic provides excellent time-on-site, below-average bounce rates, higher-than-average page views and is a valuable tool to help Dealers sell more vehicles.
 
 
 
 
Advertising revenues, including direct marketing, accounted for 24%, 16% and 8% of total revenues in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.
 
Strategy
 
Our goal is to garner a larger share of the billions of dollars spent annually by Dealers and Manufacturers on automotive marketing services.  We plan to achieve this objective through the following principal strategies:
 
Increasing The Supply of High-Quality Leads. High-quality Leads are those Leads that result in high transaction (i.e., purchase) closing rates for our Dealer customers.  Internally-Generated Leads are generally higher quality than Non-Internally-Generated Leads and increase the overall quality of our Lead portfolio. Non-Internally-Generated Leads are of varying quality depending on the source of these Leads. We plan to increase the supply of high-quality Leads generated to sell to our customers primarily by:
 
           
Increasing traffic acquisition activities for our Company Websites. Traffic to our Company Websites is monetized primarily though the creation of Leads that are delivered to our Dealer or Manufacturer customers to help them market and sell new and used vehicles, and through the sale of advertising space on our Company Websites. We plan to increase the traffic to our Company Websites through effective SEO and SEM traffic acquisition activities and enhancements to our Company Websites.
 
o
SEO and SEM traffic acquisition activities. Traffic to our Company Websites is obtained through a variety of sources and methods, including direct navigation to our Company Websites, natural search (search engine optimization or “SEO”, which is the practice of optimizing keywords in website content to drive traffic to a website), paid search (search engine marketing, or “SEM,” which is the practice of bidding on keywords on search engines to drive traffic to a website), direct marketing and partnering with other website publishers that provide links to our websites.  Our goal is that over time, paid traffic such as SEM will be balanced by greater visitation from direct navigation and SEO, which we expect to result in increased Lead volumes and gross profit margins.
 
o  
Continuing to enhance the quality and user experience of our Company Websites.  We continuously make enhancements to our Company Websites, including enhancements of the design and functionality of our Company Websites.  These enhancements are intended to position our Company Websites as comprehensive best in class destinations for automotive purchase research by consumers. By doing so, we believe we will increase the volume of our Internally-Generated Leads.
 
           
Increasing the conversion rate of visitors to Leads on our Company Websites.  Through increased SEO and SEM activities and significant content, tools and user interface enhancements to our websites, we believe we will be able to increase the number of website visits and improve website “engagement,” and thereby increase the conversion of page views into Leads.  We believe that an increased conversion rate of page views into Leads could result in higher revenue per visitor.
 
           
Relationships with Suppliers of High-Quality, Non-Internally-Generated Leads. We plan to continue to develop and maintain strong relationships with suppliers of Non-Internally-Generated Leads that consistently provide high-quality Leads.
 
Increasing Leads Sales to our Customers. Our principal source of revenue comes from sales of Leads to our retail and wholesale Lead customers. Our goal is to increase sales of Leads to our customers primarily by:
 
Increasing Lead Sales to Dealers. Sales of Leads to our Dealer network constitute a significant source of our revenues.  Our goal is to increase the number of Leads sold to our retail Dealer customers by:
 
o
increasing the quality of the Leads sold to our Dealers,
o
increasing the number of Dealers in our Dealer network,
o
reducing Dealer churn in our Dealer network,
o
providing customizable Lead programs to meet our Dealers’ unique marketing requirements,
o
providing additional value added marketing services that help Dealers more effectively utilize the internet to market and sell new and used vehicles,
o
increasing overall Dealer satisfaction by improving all aspects of our services,
o
increasing the size of our retail Dealer footprint,
o
focusing on higher revenue Dealers that are more cost-effective to support; and 
o
enhancing our internal Lead generation activities by leveraging our expanded retail lead coverage.
 
Increasing Lead Sales to Wholesale Customers.  We currently have agreements to sell Leads to 31 Manufacturer Lead programs, including all mainstream Manufacturers, with the exception of one luxury brand that has yet to launch a Lead program.  We intend to continue to demonstrate the value of third party leads to Manufacturers by utilizing close rate and cross sell data that demonstrates that third party leads result in incremental sales for the Manufacturers.  Our intention is to increase revenue by having  Manufacturers enhance business rules, program capacity, pricing and coverage so that each Manufacturer can purchase more of our Internally-Generated Leads.
 
 
 
 
Continuing to develop the AutoWeb Traffic Product targeted pay-per-click program for online automotive advertisers and publishers.  Our AutoWeb Traffic Product uses proprietary technology and a pay-per-click business model to analyze web traffic and adjust advertiser costs accordingly based on traffic quality.  This traffic network is targeted to attract high-intent, high-volume publishers and is intended to allow them to monetize traffic that has previously been under-monetized.  In-market car shoppers are presented with highly relevant display advertisements and benefit from an online experience that delivers information that consumers use in making their car buying decisions.  Manufacturers benefit from this high-quality traffic from serious in-market car buyers.  Our AutoWeb Traffic Product enables Manufacturers and Dealers to optimize their advertising by driving traffic to appropriate areas of their Tier 1 (Manufacturer national advertising), Tier 2 (Manufacturer and advertising associations regional advertising) and Tier 3 (Dealer) websites.  
 
We believe that Manufacturers and Dealers will see the measureable attribution from this click traffic and will reallocate marketing spend from traditional channels into this emerging medium. We also plan to grow the size of this addressable marketplace by adding high-quality and high volume automotive publishers to our network, by targeting in-market consumers on a variety of social media platforms and by continuing to optimize this advertising platform on our consumer facing websites, whose traffic we believe will continue to scale. In addition, we believe that the flexibility of our solution combined with high-quality traffic with automotive purchase intent may allow us to increase the amount charged per click as the network grows and as the level of attribution from this product is understood by advertising partners.
 
Increasing Display Advertising Revenues.  As traffic to, and time spent on, our Company Websites by consumers increases, we will seek to increase our advertising revenues.  Through our agreement with Jumpstart we benefit from Jumpstart's relationships with every major automotive Manufacturer and/or its advertising agencies by increasing revenue for our traditional display advertising.  It is our belief that if the volume of our traffic continues to increase, advertisers will recognize this increased value by agreeing to purchase additional advertising space available on our Company Websites.  Additionally, we believe that our AutoWeb Traffic Product provides an opportunity to increase AutoWeb advertising revenue through additional monetization opportunities for our existing and growing traffic.
 
Focus on Mobile Technologies.  As consumers increasingly engage with Internet content using mobile devices, AutoWeb will continue to focus on advanced mobile technologies that facilitate communication between Dealers and consumers on smart phones and tablets at the time, place, and in a manner preferred by many consumers.   This focus on the mobile platform is a core part of our strategy moving forward regarding lead generation, automotive research, website advertising and traffic generation.
 
Continuing to Expand our Products and ServicesWe gather significant amounts of data on consumer intent as it relates to purchasing vehicles.  We intend to use this data to create products and services, including direct business database offerings, that we believe will ultimately help Manufacturers and Dealers market and sell more new and used vehicles.  Our objective is to generate revenues from this asset in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
 
Strategic Acquisitions, Investments and AlliancesOur goal is to grow and enhance our business. We may do so, in part, through strategic acquisitions, investments and alliances. We continue to review strategic opportunities that may provide opportunities for growth. We believe that strategic acquisitions, investments and alliances may allow us to increase market share, benefit from advancements in technology and strengthen our business operations by enhancing our product and service offerings.
 
Our ability to implement the foregoing strategies and plans is subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control.  Accordingly, there is no assurance that we will successfully implement our strategies and plans.  See “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Seasonality
 
Our quarterly revenues and operating results have fluctuated in the past and may fluctuate in the future due to various factors, including consumer buying trends, changing economic conditions, Manufacturer incentive programs and actual or threatened severe weather events.  Excluding the effect of acquisitions in 2015, Lead volume is typically highest in summer (third quarter) and winter (first quarter) months, followed by spring (second quarter) and fall (fourth quarter) months.
 
 
 
 
Intellectual Property
 
Our intellectual property includes patents related to our innovations, products and services; trademarks related to our brands, products and services; copyrights in software and creative content; trade secrets; and other intellectual property rights and licenses of various kinds. We seek to protect our intellectual property assets through patent, copyright, trade secret, trademark and other laws and through contractual provisions. We enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and contractors, and non-disclosure agreements with third parties with whom we conduct business in order to secure our proprietary rights and additionally limit access to, and disclosure of, our proprietary information.  We have registered trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, including AutoWeb®, AutoWeb.com®, the global highway logo, Autobytel, Autobytel.com, MyGarage, Your Lifetime Automotive Advisor®, iControl by Autobytel®, TextShield®, and Payment Pro®. We have also been issued patents related to methods and systems for managing a Lead in data center systems and a method and system for managing Leads and routing them to one or more destinations. We cannot provide any assurances that any of our intellectual property rights will be enforceable by us in litigation.
 
Additional information regarding certain risks related to our intellectual property is included in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Competition
 
In the automotive-related digital marketing services marketplace we compete for Dealer and Manufacturer customers.  Competition with respect to our core Lead referral programs continued to be impacted by changing industry conditions in 2017. We continue to compete with several companies that maintain business models similar to ours, some with greater resources. In addition, competition has increased from larger competitors that traditionally have competed only in the used vehicle market.  Dealers continue to invest in their proprietary websites and traffic acquisition activities, and we expect this trend to continue as Dealers strive to own and control more Lead generating assets under their captive brands.  Additionally, all major Manufacturers that market their vehicles in the U.S. have their own websites that market their vehicles direct to consumers and generate Leads for delivery direct to the Manufacturers’ Dealers.
 
We believe that third party Leads have been the standard in our industry for many years.  However, we continue to observe new and emerging business models, including pay-per-sale and consumer pay models, relating to the generation and delivery of Leads.  From time to time, new products and services are introduced that take the focus away from third party Lead generation, which we believe is a profitable way to sell vehicles to in-market buyers.  Dealers and Manufacturers may decide to pull back on their third party Lead programs to test these new approaches.
 
In the display advertising marketplace, we compete with major internet portals, transaction based websites, automotive related companies, numerous lifestyle websites and emerging entrants in the relatively new automotive click revenue medium. We also compete with traditional marketing channels such as print, radio and television.
 
In pay-per-click advertising, we compete with established search engine providers as well as with a growing number of digital marketing platforms focused on generating dealership website traffic from inventory listings and social media campaigns. In addition, some industry providers who have historically specialized in inventory aggregation or on providing SEM agency services to Dealers are now expanding into the area of website traffic generation. Also, many dealership website providers are now offering traffic solutions as part of their bundle of services.
 
In addition, some traditional data providers are moving to deliver personalized digital marketing services at scale. These digital marketing hubs and data management platforms provide marketers with standardized access to audience data, content, workflow triggers and operational analytics to automate execution and optimization of multichannel campaigns. These services could be used as a source of lead generation and website traffic by Dealers and Manufacturers and could replace by our existing product offerings.
 
Customers
 
We have a concentration of credit risk with our automotive industry related accounts receivable balances, particularly with Urban Science Applications (which represents several Manufacturer programs), General Motors and Media.net Advertising. During 2017, approximately 34% of our total revenues were derived from these three customers, and approximately 43% or $11.6 million of gross accounts receivable related to these three customers at December 31, 2017.  In 2017, Urban Science Applications accounted for 15% and 20% of total revenues and accounts receivable as of December 31, 2017, respectively. In 2017, Media.net Advertising accounted for 11% of both total revenues and accounts receivable as of December 31, 2017, respectively.
 
 
 
 
 
Operations and Technology
 
We believe that our future success is significantly dependent upon our ability to provide high-performance, reliable and comprehensive websites, advertising systems; enhance consumer and Dealer product and service offerings; maintain the highest levels of information privacy; and ensure transactional security. Our Company Websites and advertising systems are hosted at secure third-party data center facilities and public cloud providers. These data centers and public cloud systems utilize redundant power infrastructure, redundant network connectivity, multiple locations, distributed services, fire detection and suppression systems and security systems to prevent unauthorized access and to provide high availability of their services, upon which our technology is built, deployed and operated. Our network and computer systems are built on industry standard technology.
 
System enhancements are primarily intended to accommodate increased traffic across our Company Websites, improve the speed in which Leads and advertisements are processed and introduce new and enhanced products and services. System enhancements entail the implementation of sophisticated new technology and system processes. We implement industry standard automation and delivery processes and employ centralized quality assurance to improve the quality, scalability, security, and availability of our products. We plan to continue to make investments in technology as we believe appropriate.
 
Government Regulation
 
We are subject to laws and regulations generally applicable to providers of digital marketing services, including federal and state laws and regulations governing data security and privacy; voice, email and text messaging communications with consumers; unfair and deceptive acts and practices; advertising; contests, sweepstakes and promotions; and content regulation. For additional important information related to government regulation of our business, including governmental regulations relating to the marketing and sale of automobiles, see the information set forth in Part I, Item 1A“Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Employees
 
As of March 12, 2018, we had 228 employees.  None of our employees are represented by labor unions.
 
 
Item 1A.     Risk Factors
 
The risks described below are not the only risks that we face. The following risks as well as risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial may materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition, earnings per share, cash flow or the trading price of our stock, individually and collectively referred to in these Risk Factors as our “financial performance.”   See also the discussion of “Forward-Looking Statements” immediately preceding Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
We may be unable to increase Lead revenues and could suffer a decline in revenues due to dealer attrition.
 
 We derive more than 98% of our Lead revenues from Lead fees paid by Dealers and Manufacturers participating in our Lead programs. Our Lead fees decreased $23.6 million, or 18%, in 2017 compared to 2016. Our ability to increase revenues from sales of Leads is dependent on a mix of interrelated factors that include increasing Lead revenues by attracting and retaining Dealers and Manufacturers and increasing the number of high-quality Leads we sell to Dealers and Manufacturers. We are also focused on higher revenue Dealers that are more cost-effective to support. Our sales strategy is intended to result in more profitable relationships with our Dealers both in terms of cost to supply Leads and to support the Dealers. Dealer churn impacts our revenues, and if our sales strategy does not mitigate the loss in revenues by maintaining the overall number of Leads sold by increasing sales to other Dealers or Manufacturers while maintaining the overall margins we receive from the Leads sold, our revenues would decrease. We cannot provide any assurances that we will be able to increase Lead fee revenues, prevent Dealer attrition or offset the revenues lost due to Dealer attrition by other means, and our failure to do so could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.
 
We may lose customers or quality Lead supplies to our competitors.
 
Our ability to provide increased numbers of high-quality Leads to our customers is dependent on increasing the number of Internally-Generated Leads and acquiring high-quality Non-Internally-Generated Leads from third parties. Originating Internally-Generated Leads is dependent on our ability to increase consumer traffic to our Company Websites by providing secure and easy to use websites with relevant and quality content for consumers and increasing visibility of our brands to consumers and by our SEM activities. We compete for Dealer and Manufacturer customers and for acquisition of Non-Internally-Generated Leads with companies that maintain automotive Lead referral businesses that are very similar to ours. Many of these competitors are larger than us and have greater financial resources than we have. If we lose customers or quality Lead supply volume to our competitors, or if our pricing or cost to acquire Leads is impacted, our financial performance will be materially and adversely impacted.
 
Our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected by changes in internet search engine algorithms and dynamics.
 
We use Google to generate a significant portion of the traffic to our websites, and, to a lesser extent, we use other search engines and meta-search websites to generate traffic to our websites, principally through pay-per-click advertising campaigns. The pricing and operating dynamics on these search engines can experience rapid change commercially, technically and competitively. For example, Google frequently updates and changes the logic that determines the placement and display of results of a consumer's search, such that the placement of links to our websites can be negatively affected and our costs to improve or maintain our placement in search results can increase.
 
We are affected by general economic and market conditions, and, in particular, conditions in the automotive industry.
 
Our financial performance is affected by general economic and market factors, conditions in the automotive industry, and the market for automotive marketing services, including, but not limited to, the following:
 
Pricing and purchase incentives for vehicles;
The expectation that consumers will be purchasing fewer vehicles overall during their lifetime as a result of better quality vehicles and longer warranties;
The impact of fuel prices on demand for the number and types of vehicles;
Increases or decreases in the number of retail Dealers or in the number of Manufacturers and other wholesale customers in our customer base;
Volatility in spending by Manufacturers and others in their marketing budgets and allocations;
The competitive impact of consolidation in the online automotive referral industry;
The effect of changes in transportation policy, including the potential increase of public transportation options; and
The effect of fewer vehicles being purchased as a result of new business models and changes in consumer attitudes regarding the need for vehicle ownership.
 
 
 
 
 
Concentration of credit risk and risks due to significant customers could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.
 
Financial instruments that potentially subject us to concentrations of credit risk consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents, investments and accounts receivable. Cash and cash equivalents are primarily maintained with two financial institutions in the United States. Deposits held by banks exceed the amount of insurance provided for such deposits. Generally these deposits may be redeemed upon demand. Accounts receivable are primarily derived from fees billed to Dealers and Manufacturers. We have a concentration of credit risk with our automotive industry related accounts receivable balances, particularly with Urban Science Applications (which represents several Manufacturer programs), General Motors and Media.net Advertising. During 2017 approximately 34% of the Company’s total revenues were derived from these customers, and they accounted for approximately 43% or $11.6 million of gross accounts receivable at December 31, 2017. No collateral is required to support our accounts receivables, and we maintain an allowance for bad debts for potential credit losses.  If there is a decline in the general economic environment that negatively affects the financial condition of our customers or an increase in the number of customers that are dissatisfied with their services, additional estimated allowances for bad debts and customer credits may be required, and the adverse impact on our financial performance could be material.
 
We depend on Manufacturers through our third party sales channel for a significant amount of our advertising revenues, and we may not be able to maintain or grow these relationships.
 
We depend on Manufacturers through our third party sales channel for a significant amount of our advertising revenues. A decline in the level of advertising on our websites, reductions in advertising rates or any significant failure to develop additional sources of advertising would cause our advertising revenues to decline, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance. We periodically negotiate revisions to existing agreements and these revisions could decrease our advertising revenues in future periods and a number of our advertising agreements with Manufacturers may be terminated at any time without cause. We may not be able to maintain our relationship with Manufacturers on favorable terms or find alternative comparable relationships capable of replacing advertising revenues on terms satisfactory to us. If we cannot do so, our advertising revenues would decline, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance.
 
Our ability to maintain and add to our relationships with advertisers and thereby increase advertising revenues is dependent on our ability to attract consumers and acquire traffic to our Company Websites and monetize that traffic at profitable margins with advertisers. Our consumer facing websites compete with offerings from the major internet portals, transaction based sites, automotive-related verticals (websites with content that is primarily automotive in nature) and numerous lifestyle websites. Our advertising business is characterized by minimal barriers to entry, and new competitors may be able to launch competitive services at relatively low costs. If our Company Websites do not provide a compelling, differentiated user experience, we may lose visitors to competing sites, and if our website traffic declines, we may lose relevance to our major advertisers who may reduce or eliminate their advertising buys from us, which could have a material and adverse effect on our financial performance.
 
Uncertainty exists in the application of various laws and regulations to our business. New laws or regulations applicable to our business, or expansion or interpretation of existing laws and regulations to apply to our business, could subject us to licensing, claims, judgments and remedies, including monetary liabilities and limitations on our business practices, and could increase administrative costs or materially and adversely affect our financial performance.
 
We operate in a regulatory climate in which there is uncertainty as to the application of various laws and regulations to our business.  Our business could be significantly affected by different interpretations or applications of existing laws or regulations, future laws or regulations, or actions or rulings by judicial or regulatory authorities.  Our operations may be subjected to adoption, expansion or interpretation of various laws and regulations, and compliance with these laws and regulations may require us to obtain licenses at an undeterminable and possibly significant initial and annual expense. These additional expenditures may increase future overhead, thereby potentially reducing our future results of operations. There can be no assurances that future laws or regulations or interpretations or expansions of existing laws or regulations will not impose requirements on internet commerce that could substantially impair the growth of e-commerce and adversely affect our financial performance. The adoption of additional laws or regulations may decrease the popularity or impede the expansion of e-commerce and internet marketing, restrict our present business practices, require us to implement costly compliance procedures or expose us and/or our customers to potential liability.
 
We may be deemed to “operate” or “do business” in states where our customers conduct their business, resulting in regulatory action. If any state licensing laws were determined to be applicable to us, and if we are required to be licensed and we are unable to do so, or we are otherwise unable to comply with laws or regulations, we could be subject to fines or other penalties or be compelled to discontinue operations in those states.  In the event any state’s regulatory requirements impose state specific requirements on us or include us within an industry-specific regulatory scheme, we may be required to modify our marketing programs in that state in a manner that may undermine the program’s attractiveness to consumers or Dealers. In the alternative, if we determine that the licensing and related requirements are overly burdensome, we may elect to terminate operations in that state. In each case, our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected.  We have identified below areas of government regulation, which if changed or interpreted to apply to our business, we believe could be costly for us and could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.
 
 
 
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Automotive Dealer/ Broker and Vehicle Advertising Laws. All states comprehensively regulate vehicle sales and lease transactions, including strict licensure requirements for Dealers (and, in some states, brokers) and vehicle advertising. Most of these laws and regulations, we believe, specifically address only traditional vehicle purchase and lease transactions, not internet-based Lead referral programs such as our programs. If we determine that the licensing or other regulatory requirements in a given state are applicable to us or to a particular marketing services program, we may elect to obtain required licenses and comply with applicable regulatory requirements.  However, if licensing or other regulatory requirements are overly burdensome, we may elect to terminate operations or particular marketing services programs in that state or elect to not operate or introduce particular marketing services programs in that state. In some states we have modified our marketing programs or pricing models to reduce uncertainty regarding our compliance with local laws. As we introduce new services, we may need to incur additional costs associated with additional licensing regulations and regulatory requirements.  
 
 Financial Broker and Consumer Credit Laws. We provide a connection through our websites that allows consumers to obtain finance information and, through our display and pay-per-click advertising programs, to be referred to Dealer, Manufacturer and potential lender websites. All online applications for quotes are completed on the respective third party’s websites. We receive marketing fees from financial institutions and Dealers in connection with this marketing activity. We do not demand nor do we receive any fees from consumers for these services. In the event states require us to be licensed as a financial broker or finder, we may be unable to comply with a state’s laws or regulations, or we could be required to incur significant fees and expenses to obtain any financial broker required license and comply with regulatory requirements.  In addition, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act established a new consumer financial protection bureau with broad regulatory powers, which could lead to regulation of our advertising business directly or indirectly through regulation of automotive finance companies and other financial institutions.
 
Insurance Broker Laws. We provide links on our websites and referrals from call centers enabling consumers to be referred to third parties to receive quotes for insurance from such third parties. All online applications for quotes are completed on the respective insurance carriers’ or other third party websites, and all applications for quotes obtained through call center referrals are conducted by the insurance carrier or other third party. We receive marketing fees from participants in connection with this marketing activity. We do not receive any premiums from consumers nor do we charge consumers fees for our services.
 
Changes in the taxation of internet commerce may result in increased costs.
 
Because our business is dependent on the internet, the adoption of new local, state or federal tax laws or regulations or new interpretations of existing laws or regulations by governmental authorities may subject us to additional local, state or federal sales, use or income taxes and could decrease the growth of internet usage or marketing or the acceptance of internet commerce which could, in turn, decrease the demand for our services and increase our costs.  As a result, our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected. State taxing authorities are reviewing and re-evaluating the tax treatment of companies engaged in internet commerce, including the application of sales taxes to internet marketing businesses similar to ours, as a source of tax revenues. We accrue for tax contingencies based upon our estimate of the taxes ultimately expected to be paid, which we update over time as more information becomes available, new legislation or rules are adopted or taxing authorities interpret their existing statutes and rules to apply to internet commerce, including internet marketing businesses similar to ours.  The amounts ultimately paid in resolution of reviews or audits by taxing authorities could differ materially from the amounts we have accrued and result in additional tax expense, and our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected.
 
Changes in applicable tax regulations and resolutions of tax disputes could negatively affect our financial results.
 
The Company is subject to taxation in the U.S. On December 22, 2017, the U.S. government enacted comprehensive tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”). The changes included in the TCJA are broad and complex and, among other items, reduce the corporate tax rate. The final transition impacts of the TCJA may differ from the estimates provided elsewhere in this report, possibly materially, due to, among other things, changes in interpretations of the TCJA, any legislative action to address questions that arise because of the TCJA, and any changes in accounting standards for income taxes or related interpretations in response to the TCJA. The TCJA, or future changes in tax laws applicable to us, could materially increase our future income tax expense.
 
 
 
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Data Security and Privacy Risks
 
Our business is subject to various laws, rules and regulations relating to data security and privacy. New data security and privacy laws, rules and regulations may be adopted regarding the internet or other online services that could limit our business flexibility or cause us to incur higher compliance costs.  In each case, our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected.  We have identified below some of these risks that we believe could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.
 
Anti-spam laws, rules and regulations. Various state and federal laws, rules and regulations regulate email communications and internet advertising and restrict or prohibit unsolicited email (commonly known as “spam”). These laws, rules or regulations may adversely affect our ability to market our services to consumers in a cost-effective manner. The federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (“CAN-SPAM”) imposes complex and often burdensome requirements in connection with sending commercial emails. In addition, state laws regulating the sending of commercial emails, including California’s law regulating the sending of commercial emails, to the extent found to not be preempted by CAN-SPAM, may impose requirements or conditions more restrictive than CAN-SPAM. Violation of these laws, rules or regulations may result in monetary fines or penalties or damage to our reputation.
 
Data privacy laws, rules and regulations. Various laws, rules and regulations govern the collection, use, retention, sharing and security of data that we receive from our users, advertisers and affiliates. In addition, we have and post on our website our own privacy policies and practices concerning the collection, use and disclosure of user data and personal information. Any failure, or perceived failure, by us to comply with our posted privacy policies, Federal Trade Commission requirements or orders or other federal or state privacy or consumer protection-related laws, regulations or industry self-regulatory principles could result in proceedings or actions against us by governmental entities or others. Further, failure or perceived failure by us to comply with our policies, applicable requirements or industry self-regulatory principles related to the collection, use, sharing or security of personal information or other privacy-related matters could result in a loss of user confidence in us, damage to our brands, and ultimately in a loss of users, advertisers or Lead referral and advertising affiliates. We cannot predict whether new legislation or regulations concerning data privacy and retention issues related to our business will be adopted, or if adopted, whether they could impose requirements that may result in a decrease in our user registrations and materially and adversely affect our financial performance.  Proposals that have or are currently being considered include restrictions relating to the collection and use of data and information obtained through the tracking of internet use, including the possible implementation of a “Do Not Track” list, that would allow internet users to opt-out of such tracking. Other proposals include enhanced rights for consumers to obtain information regarding the sharing or sale of their personal information and rights to opt-out or prevent the sharing or sale of their personal information to third parties.
 
Security risks associated with online Leads collection and referral, advertising and e-commerce risks associated with other online fraud and scams.  A significant issue for online businesses like ours is the secure transmission of confidential and personal information over public networks. Concerns over the security of transactions conducted on the internet, consumer identity theft and user privacy issues have been significant barriers to growth in consumer use of the internet, online advertising and e-commerce. Despite our implementation of security measures, our computer systems or those of our vendors may be susceptible to electronic or physical computer break-ins, viruses and other disruptive harms and security breaches. Advances in computer capabilities, new discoveries in the field of cryptography or other developments may specifically compromise our security measures. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems change frequently and often are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures on a timely basis. Any perceived or actual unauthorized disclosure of personally identifiable information that we collect or store, whether through breach of our network by an unauthorized party, employee theft or misuse, or otherwise, could harm our reputation and brands, substantially impair our ability to attract and retain our audiences, or subject us to claims or litigation arising from damages suffered by consumers or Lead or traffic suppliers. If consumers experience identity theft related to personally identifiable information we collect or store, we may be exposed to liability, adverse publicity and damage to our reputation. To the extent that identity theft gives rise to reluctance to use our websites or to supply us leads or traffic, or a decline in consumer confidence in financial transactions over the internet, our business could be adversely affected. Alleged or actual breaches of the network of one of our business partners or competitors whom consumers associate with us could also harm our reputation and brands. In addition, we could incur significant costs in complying with the multitude of state, federal and foreign laws regarding the unauthorized disclosure of personal information. For example, California law requires companies to inform individuals of any security breaches that result in their personal information being stolen. Because our success depends on the acceptance of online services and e-commerce, we may incur significant costs to protect against the threat of security breaches or to alleviate problems caused by those breaches. Internet fraud has been increasing over the past few years, and the Company has experienced fraudulent use of our name and trademarks on websites in connection with the purported sale of vehicles offered on third party websites, with payments to be handled through an online escrow service purported to be owned and operated by the Company.  These fraudulent online transactions and scams, should they continue to increase in prevalence, could affect our reputation with consumers and give rise to claims by consumers for funds transferred to the fraudulent accounts, which could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.
 
We are insured for some, but not all, of the foregoing risks.  Even for those risks for which we are insured and have coverage under the terms and conditions of the applicable policies, there are no assurances given that the coverage limits would be sufficient to cover all costs, liabilities or losses we might incur or experience.
 
 
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Telemarketing Risks.   We are subject to various federal and state laws, rules, regulations and orders regarding telemarketing and privacy, including restrictions on the use of unsolicited emails and restrictions on marketing activities conducted through the use of telephonic communications (including text messaging to mobile telephones). Our financial performance could be adversely affected by newly-adopted or amended laws, rules, regulations and orders relating to telemarketing and increased enforcement of such laws, rules, regulations or orders by governmental agencies or by private litigants. One example of regulatory changes that may affect our financial performance are the regulations under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). Regulations adopted by the Federal Communications Commission under the TCPA require the prior express written consent of the called party before a caller can initiate telemarketing calls (i) to wireless numbers (including text messaging) using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice; or (ii) to residential lines using an artificial or prerecorded voice. Failure to comply with the TCPA can result in significant penalties, including statutory damages. We may become subject to lawsuits (including class-action lawsuits) alleging that our business violated the TCPA. Under the TCPA, plaintiffs may seek actual monetary loss or statutory damages of $500 per violation, whichever is greater, and courts may treble the damage award for willful or knowing violations. Such litigation, even if not meritorious, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management attention and an adverse outcome could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.  Our efforts to comply with these regulations may negatively affect conversion rates of leads, and thus, our revenue or profitability.
 
Technology Risks
 
 Our business is dependent on keeping pace with advances in technology. If we are unable to keep pace with advances in technology, consumers may stop using our services and our revenues will decrease. If we are required to invest substantial amounts in technology, our financial performance will be adversely impacted.  The internet and electronic commerce markets are characterized by rapid technological change, changes in user and customer requirements, frequent new service and product introductions embodying new technologies, including mobile internet applications, and the emergence of new industry standards and practices that could render our existing websites and technology obsolete. These market characteristics are intensified by the evolving nature of the market and the fact that many companies are expected to introduce new internet products and services in the near future. If we are unable to adapt to changing technologies, our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected. Our performance will depend, in part, on our ability to continue to enhance our existing services, develop new technology that addresses the increasingly sophisticated and varied needs of our prospective customers, license leading technologies and respond to technological advances and emerging industry standards and practices on a timely and cost-effective basis. The development of our websites, mobile applications and other proprietary technology entails significant technical and business risks. We may not be successful in using new technologies effectively or adapting our websites or other proprietary technology to customer requirements or to emerging industry standards. In addition, if we are required to invest substantial amounts in technology in order to keep pace with technological advances, our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected.
 
 Interruptions or failures in our information technology platforms, communication systems or security systems could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.  Our information technology and communications systems are susceptible to outages and interruptions due to fire, flood, earthquake, power loss, telecommunications failures, cyber attacks, terrorist attacks, failure of redundant systems and disaster recovery plans and similar events. Such outages and interruptions could damage our reputation and harm our operating results.  Despite our network security measures, our information technology platforms are vulnerable to computer viruses, worms, physical and electronic break-ins, sabotage and similar disruptions from unauthorized tampering, as well as coordinated denial-of-service attacks. We do not have multiple site capacity for all of our services. In the event of delays or disruptions to services we rely on third party providers to perform disaster recovery planning and services on our behalf. We are vulnerable to extended failures to the extent that planning and services are not adequate to meet our continued technology platform, communication or security systems’ needs.  We rely on third party providers for our primary and secondary internet connections. Our co-location service and public cloud services that provide infrastructure and platform services, environmental and power support for our technology platforms, communication systems and security systems are received from third party providers. We have little or no control over these third party providers. Any disruption of the services they provide us or any failure of these third party providers to effectively design and implement sufficient security systems or plan for increases in capacity could, in turn, cause delays or disruptions in our services. We are insured for some, but not all, of these events.  Even for those events for which we are insured and have coverage under the terms and conditions of the applicable policies, there are no assurances given that the coverage limits would be sufficient to cover all losses we might incur or experience.
 
 
 
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We are dependent upon third parties for certain support services and should they fail to perform, our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected. We rely on various third parties to provide certain support services. For example, Dealer X operates the platform for AutoWeb and provides enhancements, and support for the DealerX platform for an initial five year period. Should a third party fail to perform or perform adequately, our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected.
 
We are exposed to risks associated with overseas operations and outsourcing.  We currently maintain website, software development and operations in Guatemala and receive software development and maintenance services for some of our systems from contractors located in Pakistan.  These overseas operations and contractor arrangements are subject to many inherent risks, including but not limited to:
 
Political, social and economic instability;
Exposure to different business practices and legal standards, particularly with respect to labor and employment laws and intellectual property;
Continuation of overseas conflicts and the risk of terrorist attacks and resulting heightened security;
The imposition of governmental controls and restrictions and unexpected changes in regulatory requirements;
Theft and other crimes;
Nationalization of business and blocking of cash flows;
Changes in taxation and tariffs;
Difficulties in staffing and managing international operations; and
Foreign currency exchange fluctuations.
 
These risks can significantly impact our overseas operations and outsourcing. Increases in the cost, or disruptions, of such operations and outsourcing, could materially and adversely affect our financial performance.  In addition, we are subject to certain anti-corruption laws, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, in addition to the laws of the foreign countries in which we operate. If we or any of our employees or agents violates these laws, we could become subject to sanctions or significant penalties that could negatively affect our reputation and financial performance.
 
We may acquire other companies, and there are many risks associated with acquisitions. As part of our business strategy we evaluate potential acquisitions that we believe will complement or enhance our existing business. We currently do not have any definitive agreements to acquire any company or business, and we may not be able to identify or complete any acquisition in the future.  Acquisitions involve numerous risks that include the following, any of which could materially and adversely affect our financial performance:
 
We may not fully realize all of the anticipated benefits of an acquisition or may not realize them in the timeframe expected, including due to acquisitions where we expand into product and service offerings or enter or expand into markets in which we are not experienced.
In order to complete acquisitions, we may issue common stock or securities convertible into or exercisable for common stock, potentially creating dilution for existing stockholders. Issuance of equity securities may also restrict utilization of net operating loss carryforwards because of an annual limitation due to ownership change limitations under the Internal Revenue Code.
We may borrow to finance acquisitions, and the amount and terms of any potential future acquisition-related or other borrowings may not be favorable to the Company and could affect our liquidity and financial condition.
Acquisitions may result in significant costs and expenses and charges to earnings, including those related to severance pay, early retirement costs, employee benefit costs, goodwill and asset impairment charges, charges from the elimination of duplicative facilities and contracts, assumed litigation and other liabilities, legal, accounting and financial advisory fees, and required payments to executive officers and key employees under retention plans.
Our due diligence process may fail to identify significant issues with an acquired company that may result in unexpected or increased costs, expenses or liabilities that could make an acquisition less profitable or unprofitable.
The failure to further our strategic objectives that may require us to expend additional resources to develop products, services and technology internally.
An announced business combination and investment transaction may not close timely or at all, which may cause our financial results to differ from expectations in a given quarter.
Business combination and investment transactions may lead to litigation that can be costly to defend or settle, even if no actual liability exists.
Integrations of acquisitions are often complex, time-consuming and expensive, and if acquisitions are not successfully integrated they could materially and adversely affect our financial performance. The challenges involved with integration of acquisitions include:
o
Diversion of management attention to assimilating the acquired business from other business operations and concerns.
o
Integration of management information and accounting systems of the acquired business into our systems, and the failure to fully realize all of the anticipated benefits of an acquisition.
o
Difficulties in assimilating the operations and personnel of an acquired business into our own business.
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Difficulties in integrating management information and accounting systems of an acquired business into our current systems.
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Convincing our customers and suppliers and the customers and suppliers of the acquired business that the transaction will not diminish client service standards or business focus and that they should not defer purchasing decisions or switch to other suppliers.
o
Consolidating and rationalizing corporate IT infrastructure, which may include multiple legacy systems from various acquisitions and integrating software code and business processes.
o
Persuading employees that business cultures are compatible, maintaining employee morale, retaining key employees and integrating employees into the Company.
o
Coordinating and combining administrative, manufacturing, research and development and other operations, subsidiaries, facilities and relationships with third parties in accordance with local laws and other obligations while maintaining adequate standards, controls and procedures.
o
Managing integration issues shortly after or pending the completion of other independent transactions.
 
 
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Securities Market Risks
 
The public market for our common stock may be volatile, especially because market prices for internet-related and technology stocks have often been unrelated to operating performance.  Our common stock is currently listed on The Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “AUTO,” but we cannot assure that an active trading market will be sustained or that the market price of the common stock will not decline. The stock market in general periodically experiences significant price fluctuations. The market price of our common stock is likely to be highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to factors such as:
 
Actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly operating results;
Historical and anticipated operating metrics such as the number of participating Dealers, volume of Lead deliveries to Dealers, the number of visitors to Company Websites and the frequency with which they interact with Company Websites;
Announcements of new product or service offerings;
Technological innovations;
Low trading volumes;
Concentration of holdings in our common stock resulting in low public float for our shares;
Decisions by holders of large blocks of our stock to sell their holdings on accelerated time schedules, including by reason of their decision to liquidate investment funds that hold our stock;
Limited analyst coverage of the Company;
Competitive developments, including actions by Manufacturers;
Changes in financial estimates by securities analysts or our failure to meet such estimates;
Conditions and trends in the internet, electronic commerce and automotive industries;
Adoption of new accounting standards affecting the technology or automotive industry;
Rumors, whether or not accurate, about us, our industry or possible transactions or other events;
The impact of open market repurchases of our common stock; and
General market or economic conditions and other factors.
 
Further, the stock markets, and in particular The Nasdaq Capital Market, have experienced price and volume fluctuations that have particularly affected the market prices of equity securities of many technology companies and have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. These broad market factors have affected and may adversely affect the market price of our common stock. In addition, general economic, political and market conditions, such as recessions, interest rates, energy prices, international currency fluctuations, terrorist acts, political revolutions, military actions or wars, may adversely affect the market price of our common stock. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies with publicly traded securities. Following announcement of our financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017 and the departures of our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, the market price of our common stock declined significantly and a law firm announced that it is investigating investor claims. Should securities related litigation be filed, we could incur substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial performance.
 
 
 
-15-
 
 
Our common stock could be delisted from The Nasdaq Capital Market if we are not able to satisfy continued listing requirements, in which case the price of our common stock  and our ability to raise additional capital and issue equity-based compensation may be adversely affected, and trading in our stock may be less orderly and efficient. For our common stock to continue to be listed on The Nasdaq Capital Market, the Company must satisfy various continued listing requirements established by The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC. In the event the Company were not able to satisfy these continued listing requirements, we expect that our common stock would be quoted on an over-the-counter market.  These markets are generally considered to be less efficient and less broad than The Nasdaq Capital Market. Investors may be reluctant to invest in the common stock if it is not listed on The Nasdaq Capital Market or another stock exchange. Delisting of our common stock could have a material adverse effect on the price of our common stock and would also eliminate our ability to rely on the preemption of state securities registration and qualification requirements afforded by Section 18 of the Securities Act of 1933 for “covered securities.” The loss of this preemption could result in higher costs associated with raising capital, could limit resale of our stock in some states, and could adversely impact our ability to issue equity-based compensation to Company employees.
 
No assurances can be given that the Company will continue to be able to meet the continued listing requirements for listing of our common stock on The Nasdaq Capital Market.
 
Risks Associated with Litigation
 
Misappropriation or infringement of our intellectual property and proprietary rights, enforcement actions to protect our intellectual property and claims from third parties relating to intellectual property could materially and adversely affect our financial performance. Litigation regarding intellectual property rights is common in the internet and technology industries. We expect that internet technologies and software products and services may be increasingly subject to third party infringement claims as the number of competitors in our industry segment grows and the functionality of products in different industry segments overlaps.  Our ability to compete depends upon our proprietary systems and technology.  While we rely on trademark, trade secret, patent and copyright law, confidentiality agreements and technical measures to protect our proprietary rights, we believe that the technical and creative skills of our personnel, continued development of our proprietary systems and technology, brand name recognition and reliable website maintenance are more essential in establishing and maintaining a leadership position and strengthening our brands. Despite our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, unauthorized parties may attempt to copy aspects of our services or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Policing unauthorized use of our proprietary rights is difficult and may be expensive. We have no assurance that the steps taken by us will prevent misappropriation of technology or that the agreements entered into for that purpose will be enforceable. Effective trademark, service mark, patent, copyright and trade secret protection may not be available when our products and services are made available online. In addition, if litigation becomes necessary to enforce or protect our intellectual property rights or to defend against claims of infringement or invalidity, this litigation, even if successful, could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention.  We also have no assurances that our products and services do not infringe on the intellectual property rights of third parties. Claims of infringement, even if unsuccessful, could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention. If we are not successful, we may be subject to preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and monetary damages which may be trebled in the case willful infringements.
 
Our financial performance could be adversely affected by actions of third parties that could subject us to litigation.  We could face liability for information retrieved or obtained from or transmitted over the internet by third parties and liability for products sold over the internet by third parties. We could be exposed to liability with respect to third party information that may be accessible through our websites, links or vehicle review services. These claims might, for example, be made for defamation, negligence, patent, copyright or trademark infringement, personal injury, breach of contract, unfair competition, false advertising, invasion of privacy or other legal theories based on the nature, content or copying of these materials. These claims might assert, among other things that, by directly or indirectly providing links to websites operated by third parties we should be liable for copyright or trademark infringement or other wrongful actions by such third parties through those websites. It is also possible that, if any third party content provided on our websites contains errors, consumers could make claims against us for losses incurred in reliance on such information. Any claims could result in costly litigation, divert management’s attention and resources, cause delays in releasing new or upgrading existing services or require us to enter into royalty or licensing agreements.
 
We also enter into agreements with other companies under which any revenues that results from the purchase or use of services through direct links to or from our websites or on our websites is shared. In addition, we acquire personal information and data in the form of Leads purchased from third party websites involving consumers who submitted personally identifiable information and data to the third parties and not directly to us. These arrangements may expose us to additional legal risks and uncertainties, including disputes with these parties regarding revenue sharing, local, state and federal government regulation and potential liabilities to consumers of these services, even if we do not provide the services ourselves or have direct contact with the consumer. These liabilities can include liability for violations by these third parties of laws, rules and regulations, including those related to data security and privacy laws and regulations; unsolicited email, text messaging, telephone or wireless voice marketing; and licensing. We have no assurance that any indemnification provided to us in our agreements with these third parties, if available, will be adequate.
 
 
 
-16-
 
 
Our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected by other litigation.  From time to time, we are involved in litigation or legal matters not related to intellectual property rights and arising from the normal course of our business activities. The actions filed against us and other litigation or legal matters, even if not meritorious, could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention and an adverse outcome in litigation could materially and adversely affect our financial performance. Our liability insurance may not cover all potential claims to which we are exposed and may not be adequate to indemnify us for all liability that may be imposed. Any imposition of liability that is not covered by insurance or is in excess of our insurance coverage could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance.
 
Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws, tax benefit preservation plan and Delaware law contain provisions that could discourage a third party from acquiring us or limit the price third parties are willing to pay for our stock. 
 
Provisions of our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws relating to our corporate governance and provisions in our Tax Benefit Preservation Plan could make it difficult for a third party to acquire us, and could discourage a third party from attempting to acquire control of us. These provisions could limit the price that some investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock and may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control. The issuance of preferred stock also could decrease the amount of earnings and assets available for distribution to the holders of common stock or could adversely affect the rights and powers, including voting rights, of the holders of the common stock.
 
Our restated certificate of incorporation allows us to issue preferred stock with rights senior to those of the common stock without any further vote or action by the stockholders. Our restated certificate of incorporation also provides that the board of directors is divided into three classes, which may have the effect of delaying or preventing changes in control or change in our management because less than a majority of the board of directors are up for election at each annual meeting. In addition, provisions in our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws:
 
Require that actions to be taken by our stockholders may be taken only at an annual or special meeting of our stockholders and not by written consent;
Specify that special meetings of our stockholders can be called only by our board of directors, a committee of the board of directors, the Chairman of our board of directors or our President;
Establish advance notice procedures for stockholders to submit nominations of candidates for election to our board of directors and other proposals to be brought before a stockholders meeting;
Provide that our bylaws may be amended by our board of directors without stockholder approval;
Allow our board of directors to establish the size of our board of directors;
Provide that vacancies on our board of directors or newly created directorships resulting from an increase in the number of our directors may be filled only by a majority of directors then in office, even though less than a quorum; and
Do not give the holders of our common stock cumulative voting rights with respect to the election of directors.
 
 These provisions could make it more difficult for stockholders to effect corporate actions such as a merger, asset sale or other change in control of us.
 
Under our Tax Benefit Preservation Plan, rights to purchase capital stock of the Company (“Rights”) have been distributed as a dividend at the rate of five Rights for each share of common stock.  Each Right entitles its holder, upon triggering of the Rights, to purchase one one-hundredth of a share of Series A Junior Participating Preferred Stock of the Company at a price of $73.00 (as such price may be adjusted under the Tax Benefit Preservation Plan) or, in certain circumstances, to instead acquire shares of common stock. The Rights will convert into a right to acquire common stock or other capital stock of the Company in certain circumstances and subject to certain exceptions.  The Rights will be triggered upon the acquisition of 4.90% or more of the Company’s outstanding common stock or future acquisitions by any existing holders of 4.90% or more of the Company’s outstanding common stock. If a person or group acquires 4.90% or more of our common stock, all Rights holders, except the acquirer, will be entitled to acquire at the then exercise price of a Right that number of shares of our common stock which, at the time, has a market value of two times the exercise price of the Right.  The Tax Benefit Preservation Plan authorizes our board of directors to exercise discretionary authority to deem a person acquiring common stock in excess of 4.90% not to be an “Acquiring Person” under the Tax Benefit Preservation Plan, and thereby not trigger the Rights, if the Board finds that the beneficial ownership of the shares by the person acquiring the shares will not be likely to directly or indirectly limit the availability to the Company of the net operating loss carryovers and other tax attributes that the plan is intended to preserve or  is otherwise in the best interests of the Company.
 
We are also subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. In general, the statute prohibits a publicly-held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. For purposes of Section 203, a “business combination” includes a merger, asset sale or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder, and an “interested stockholder” is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns or did own 15% or more of the corporation’s voting stock. Section 203 could discourage a third party from attempting to acquire control of us.
 
 
 
-17-
 
 
If our internal controls and procedures fail, our financial condition, results of operations and cash flow could be materially and adversely affected.
 
Management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. Our internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. In making its assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017, management used the criteria described in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. As a result of the identification of the material weakness described below, our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2017
 
On March 14, 2018, Moss Adams LLP, our independent registered public accounting firm, advised us that they believed there were control deficiencies in our internal controls over financial reporting such that in the aggregate they constituted a material weakness. Specifically, our independent accounting firm believed we did not adequately evidence management’s expectations, criteria for investigation, and the level of precision used in the performance of the controls. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. See Part II, Item 9A, “Controls and Procedures” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Our management is in the process of evaluating the material weakness described above and intends to promptly remediate it. We are committed to continuing to improve our internal control processes and intend to implement controls to better evidence management’s expectation; however, we cannot be certain of the effectiveness of such implementation or that, in the future, additional material weaknesses or significant deficiencies will not exist or otherwise be discovered. If we are unable to maintain proper and effective internal controls, we may not be able to produce timely and accurate financial statements and prevent fraud. In addition, if we are unable to successfully remediate the material weaknesses in our internal controls or if we are unable to produce accurate and timely financial statements, our stock price may be adversely affected and we may be unable to maintain compliance with The Nasdaq Capital Market listing requirements
 
If we lose our key personnel or are unable to attract, train and retain additional highly qualified sales, marketing, managerial and technical personnel, our business may suffer.
 
Our future success depends on our ability to identify, hire, train and retain highly qualified sales, marketing, managerial and technical personnel.  In addition, as we introduce new services we may need to hire additional personnel. We may not be able to attract, assimilate or retain such personnel in the future. The inability to attract and retain the necessary managerial, technical, sales and marketing personnel could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance.
 
Our business and operations are substantially dependent on the performance of our executive officers and key employees.  Each of these executive officers would be difficult to replace.  There is no guarantee that these or any of our other executive officers and key employees will remain employed with us. The loss of the services of one or more of our executive officers or key employees could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance.
 
Item 1B. 
Unresolved Staff Comments
 
Not applicable.
 
Item 2. 
Properties
 
Our headquarters are located in Irvine, California. Our headquarters consist of approximately 33,000 square feet of leased office space under a lease that expires in July 2020. Our Tampa, Florida SEM operations are located in offices consisting of approximately 13,000 square feet under a lease that expires in May 2024. Our website development operations located in Guatemala City, Guatemala occupy approximately 10,000 square feet of leased office space under leases that expire in March 2020. We believe that our existing facilities are adequate to meet our needs and that existing needs and future growth can be accommodated by leasing alternative or additional space.
 
Item 3. 
Legal Proceedings
               
From time to time, we may be involved in litigation matters arising from the normal course of our business activities. Litigation, even if not meritorious, could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention, and an adverse outcome in litigation could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition,  cash flows, earnings per share and stock price.  Following the announcement of our financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017 and the departures of our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, the market price of our common stock declined significantly and a law firm announced publicly that it is investigating investor claims. See Risk Factors—“Securities Market Risks” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10K.
 
Item 4. 
Mine Safety Disclosures
 
 Not applicable.
 
 
-18-
 
PART II
 
Item 5. 
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
Our common stock, par value $0.001 per share, is listed on The Nasdaq Capital Market and trades under the symbol “AUTO.” The following table sets forth, for the calendar quarters indicated, the range of high and low sales prices of our common stock:
 
Year
 
High
 
 
Low
 
2016
 
 
 
 
 
 
First Quarter
 $21.01 
 $14.56 
Second Quarter
  18.74 
  12.34 
Third Quarter
  17.80 
  13.49 
Fourth Quarter
  18.28 
  11.04 
 
    
    
2017
    
    
First Quarter
  14.18 
  12.01 
Second Quarter
  14.09 
  11.65 
Third Quarter
  12.92 
  6.89 
Fourth Quarter
  9.62 
  6.70 
 
As of March 12, 2018, there were 228 holders of record of our common stock. We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock and we do not expect to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future.  Payment of any future dividends will depend on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition and will be subject to legal and contractual restrictions.  As of March 12, 2018, our common stock closing price was $3.97 per share.
 
Purchases of Equity Securities by Issuer
 
The following table provides information with respect to Company purchases of the Company’s common stock during the three months ended December 31, 2017:
 
Period
 
 
Total Number of Shares (or Units) Purchased
 
 
 
Average Price Paid per Share (or Unit)
 
 
 
Total Number of Shares (or Units) Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs (1)
 
 
Maximum Number (or Approximate Dollar Value) of Shares (or Units) that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
October 1, 2017 – October 31, 2017
   
   
   
 $3,024,751 
 
    
    
    
    
November 1, 2017 – November 30, 2017
  66,877 
 $8.70 
  66,877 
  2,442,874 
 
    
    
    
    
December 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017
  14,000 
  8.61 
  14,000 
  2,322,352 
 
    
    
    
    
Total
  80,877 
 $8.68 
  80,877 
 $2,322,352 
 
(1)
On September 6, 2017, the Company announced that its board of directors authorized the Company to repurchase up to $3.0 million of the Company’s common stock. Shares repurchased under this program have been retired and returned to the status of authorized and unissued shares.   The authorization may be increased or otherwise modified, renewed, suspended or terminated by the Company at any time, without prior notice.  The Company may repurchase the Company’s common stock from time to time on the open market or in private transactions. The Company funded repurchases and anticipates that it will fund future repurchases, if any, through the use of available cash. 
 
 
-19-
 
 
Performance Graph
 
The following graph shows a comparison of cumulative total stockholder returns for our common stock, the NASDAQ Composite, the S&P Automobile Manufacturers Index, and the S&P Smallcap 600 Automotive Retail Index.  The comparisons reflected in the graph and table below are not intended to predict the future performance of our stock and may not be indicative of our future performance.  The data regarding our common stock assume an investment in our common stock at the closing price of $3.98 per share of our common stock on December 31, 2012.
 
 
 
 
Cumulative Total Return
 
 
 
12/12
 
 
12/13
 
12/14
12/15
12/16
12/17
AutoWeb, Inc.
 $100.00 
 $380.15 
 $273.87 
 $566.83 
 $337.94 
 $226.38 
NASDAQ Composite
  100.00 
  141.63 
  162.09 
  173.33 
  187.19 
  242.29 
S&P Automobile Manufacturers
  100.00 
  130.10 
  126.21 
  123.53 
  122.70 
  141.93 
S&P Smallcap 600 Automotive Retail
  100.00 
  146.11 
  178.96 
  179.73 
  169.27 
  174.03 
 
 
 
-20-
 
 
Item 6. 
Selected Financial Data
 
The tables below set forth our selected consolidated financial data.  We prepared this information using the consolidated financial statements of AutoWeb for the five years ended December 31, 2017.  Certain amounts in the selected consolidated financial data have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation.  You should read these selected consolidated financial data together with the Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and also Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
 
 
 
Years ended December 31,
 
 
 
2017 (1)
 
 
2016
 
 
2015
 
 
2014
 
 
2013 (2)
 
 
 
(Amounts in thousands, except per-share data)
 
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total revenues
 $142,125 
 $156,684 
 $133,226 
 $106,278 
 $78,361 
Income (loss) from continuing operations
 $(64,964)
 $3,871 
 $4,646 
 $3,411 
 $38,144 
Net income (loss)
 $(64,964)
 $3,871 
 $4,646 
 $3,411 
 $38,144 
Basic earnings (loss) per common share
 $(5.48)
 $0.36 
 $0.47 
 $0.38 
 $4.29 
Diluted earnings (loss) per common share
 $(5.48)
 $0.29 
 $0.37 
 $0.32 
 $3.61 
Weighted average diluted shares
  11,853 
  13,303 
  12,662 
  11,212 
  10,616 
 
(1)
Net income in 2017 included goodwill impairment of $37.7 million and $16.7 million recording of a valuation allowance.
(2)
Net income in 2013 included a one-time benefit of $35.5 million in connection with the release of a valuation allowance against deferred tax assets.
 
 
 
Years ended December 31,
 
 
 
2017
 
 
2016
 
 
2015
 
 
2014
 
 
2013
 
 
 
(Amounts in thousands)
 
FINANCIAL POSITION (1):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
 $24,993 
 $38,512 
 $23,993 
 $20,747 
 $18,930 
Total assets
 $92,913 
 $165,281 
 $153,588 
 $104,749 
 $88,193 
Non-current liabilities
 $9,000 
 $16,500 
 $21,750 
 $11,061 
 $10,450 
Accumulated deficit
 $(288,900)
 $(230,424)
 $(234,295)
 $(238,941)
 $(242,352)
Stockholders’ equity
 $67,167 
 $119,609 
 $108,201 
 $69,258 
 $64,828 
 
(1)  
See Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements” in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for information regarding business combinations and other items that may affect comparability.
 
Item 7. 
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
 
You should read the following discussion of our results of operations and financial condition in conjunction with the “Risk Factors” included in Part I, Item 1A and our Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes thereto included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  See also the discussion of “Forward-Looking Statements” immediately preceding Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
For the year ended December 31, 2017, our business, results of operations and financial condition were affected and may continue to be affected in the future by the events that occurred during or subsequent to year end that are described in Part I, Item 1 “Business – Significant Business Developments” of this Annual report on Form 10-K. Total revenues in 2017 were $142.1 million compared to $156.7 million in 2016. The decline in revenue was due to unfulfilled demand for our Leads as a result of higher traffic acquisition costs as well as channel mix issues resulting from a lower retail dealer count. The lower revenue was partially offset by continued growth of advertising click revenues. We believe that a large part of the increase in traffic acquisition costs were a result of an increased SEM spend from several of our competitors. We will continue to work with our traffic partners to optimize our SEM methodologies and rebuild our high-quality traffic streams.  In addition, in order to mitigate the impact to profitability, we realigned our headcount and expect it to reduce operating expenses. We cannot provide an exact timeframe for resolution of these issues, and these trends may continue into 2018 and beyond.
 
 
 
 
-21-
 
 
Results of Operations
 
The following table sets forth our results of operations as a percentage of total revenues:
 
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
 
 
2017
 
 
2016
 
 
2015
 
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lead fees
  75.3%
  83.4%
  90.6%
Advertising
  24.0 
  15.6 
  7.9 
Other revenues
  0.7 
  1.0 
  1.5 
Total revenues
  100.0 
  100.0 
  100.0 
Cost of revenues
  69.9 
  63.0 
  61.2 
Gross margin
  30.1 
  37.0 
  38.8 
Operating expenses:
    
    
    
Sales and marketing
  10.1 
  11.6 
  12.0 
Technology support
  8.8 
  8.9 
  8.8 
General and administrative
  8.5 
  9.4 
  9.9 
Depreciation and amortization
  3.4 
  3.2 
  2.3 
Litigation settlements
  (0.1)
   
  (0.1)
Goodwill impairment
  26.5 
   
   
Total operating expenses
  57.2 
  33.1 
  32.9 
Operating income (loss)
  (27.1)
  3.9 
  5.8 
Interest and other income (expense), net
  (0.7)
  0.4 
  0.2 
Income tax provision
  17.9 
  1.8 
  2.5 
Net income (loss)
  (45.7%)
  2.5%
  3.5%
 
Revenues by groups of similar services and gross profits are as follows (dollars in thousands):
 
 
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
 
2017 vs. 2016
Change
 
 
2016 vs. 2015
Change
 
 
 
2017
 
 
2016
 
 
2015
 
    $ 
   % 
 
 $
 
   % 
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
 
 
 
    
Lead fees
 $107,045 
 $130,684 
 $120,678 
 $(23,639)
   (18%)
 $10,006 
   8%
Advertising
  34,142 
  24,508 
  10,534 
  9,634 
  39 
  13,974 
  133 
Other revenues
  938 
  1,492 
  2,014 
  (554)
  (37)
  (522)
  (26)
Total revenues
  142,125 
  156,684 
  133,226 
  (14,559)
  (9)
  23,458 
  18 
Cost of revenues
  99,352 
  98,771 
  81,586 
  581 
  1 
  17,185 
  21 
Gross profit
 $42,773 
 $57,913 
 $51,640 
 $(15,140)
   (26%)
 $6,273 
  12%
 
2017 Compared to 2016
 
Lead fees. Lead fees decreased $23.6 million or 18% in 2017 compared to 2016. The decrease in Lead fees was a result of the elimination of poor quality traffic in the second quarter of 2017, decreased Lead sales to Dealers combined with increased Dealer churn and the disposal of our specialty finance leads product in December 2016.
 
Advertising.  The $9.6 million or 39% increase in advertising revenues in 2017 compared to 2016 was primarily due to an increase in click revenue as a result of both increased click volume and pricing.
 
Other revenues.  Other revenues decreased $0.6 million or 37% in 2017 compared to 2016.  The decrease in other revenues was primarily due to lower customer utilization of the mobile offerings and SaleMove product.
 
Cost of Revenues. Cost of revenues consists of Lead and traffic acquisition costs and other costs. Lead and traffic acquisition costs consist of payments made to our third party Lead providers, including internet portals and online automotive information providers, as well as SEM costs. Other cost of revenues consists of fees paid to third parties for data and content, including SEO activity, included on our properties, connectivity costs, development costs related to our websites, compensation related expense and technology license fees, server equipment depreciation and technology amortization directly related to the Company Websites. SEM, sometimes referred to as paid search marketing, is the practice of bidding on keywords on search engines to drive traffic to a website.
 
 
 
-22-
 
 
The $0.6 million or 1% increase in cost of revenues in 2017 compared to 2016 was primarily due to the increased costs in traffic acquisition activity. Cost of revenues increased as a percentage of total revenues as a result of the $0.6 million increase in cost of revenues and the $23.6 million, or 18%, decrease in total revenues.
 
2016 Compared to 2015
 
Lead fees. Lead fees increased $10.0 million or 8% in 2016 compared to 2015. The increase in Lead fees was primarily due to increased lead volume associated with the acquisitions of Dealix Corporation and Autotegrity, Inc. (collectively, “Dealix/Autotegrity”) in May 2015.
 
Advertising.  The $14.0 million or 133% increase in advertising revenues in 2016 compared to 2015 was primarily due to an increase in click revenue as a result of both increased click volume and pricing. Increased click volume was the result of increased investments in traffic acquisition activity.
 
Other revenues.  Other revenues decreased $0.5 million or 26% in 2016 compared to 2015.  The decrease in other revenues was primarily due to the discontinuation of a Manufacturer’s brand using other non-Lead products.
 
Cost of Revenues. The $17.2 million or 21% increase in cost of revenues in 2016 compared to 2015 was primarily due to increased lead volume from the Dealix/Autotegrity acquisition in May 2015 together with increased intangible amortization costs from both the Dealix/Autotegrity acquisition and the acquisition of AutoWeb, Inc. in October 2015, and an increased investment in additional traffic acquisition methodologies.
 
Operating expenses were as follows (dollars in thousands):
 
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
 
2017 vs. 2016
Change
 
 
2016 vs. 2015
Change
 
 
 
2017
 
 
 2016
 
 
2015
 
 
$
 
   % 
 
$
 
   %
 
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
 
 
 
    
Sales and marketing
 $14,315 
 $18,118 
 $15,956 
 $(3,803)
   (21%)
 $2,162 
  14%
Technology support
  12,567 
  13,986 
  11,740 
  (1,419)
  (10)
  2,246 
  19 
General and administrative
  12,110 
  14,663 
  13,189 
  (2,553)
  (17)
  1,474 
  11 
Depreciation and amortization
  4,781 
  5,068 
  3,106 
  (287)
  (6)
  1,962 
  63 
Litigation settlements
  (109)
  (50)
  (108)
  (59)
  118 
  58 
  (54)
Goodwill impairment
  37,688 
  —— 
   
  37,688 
   
   
   
Total operating expenses
 $81,352 
 $51,785 
 $43,883 
 $29,567 
  57%
 $7,902 
  18%
 
2017 Compared to 2016
 
Sales and Marketing. Sales and marketing expense includes costs for developing our brand, personnel costs, and other costs associated with Dealer sales, website advertising, Dealer support and bad debt expense.
 
Sales and marketing expense for the year ended December 31, 2017 decreased by $3.8 million or 21% compared to the prior year, due to a decrease in overall headcount related expenses.
 
Technology Support.  Technology support includes compensation, benefits, software licenses and other direct costs incurred by the Company to enhance, manage, maintain, support, monitor and operate the Company's websites and related technologies, and to operate the Company's internal technology infrastructure.
 
Technology support expense for the year ended December 31, 2017 decreased by $1.4 million or 10% compared to the prior year, primarily due to a decrease in headcount related costs.
 
General and Administrative. General and administrative expense consists of certain executive, financial, human resources, legal and facilities personnel expenses and costs related to being a publicly-traded company.
 
General and administrative expense for the year ended December 31, 2017 decreased by $2.6 million or 17% compared to the prior year. The decrease was due to a decrease in headcount related costs.
 
 
 
-23-
 
 
Depreciation and Amortization.  Depreciation and amortization expense for the year ended December 31, 2017 decreased $0.3 million or 6% from the year ended December 31, 2016 primarily due to some intangible assets becoming fully amortized during the year.
 
Litigation Settlements. Payments received primarily from 2010 settlements of patent infringement claims against third parties relating to the third parties’ methods of Lead delivery were $0.1 million in 2017 compared to $50,000 in 2016. We also paid $41,000 related to settlement of claims alleged under the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003 inherited in connection with the acquisition of Dealix/Autotegrity in 2016.
 
Goodwill impairment. As discussed below, we evaluate the carrying value of enterprise goodwill for impairment, at a minimum, on an annual basis. During 2017 we performed our annual impairment test by comparing the carrying value of AutoWeb to its fair value based on market capitalization at that date. As a result of this testing, a non-cash impairment charge of $37.7 million was recorded during 2017.
 
Interest and Other Income (Expense), net. Interest and other expense was $0.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to interest and other income of $0.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.  Interest expense was $0.8 million and $0.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.  The year ended December 31, 2017 included an impairment charge of $0.6 million related to SaleMove. The year ended December 31, 2016 also included gain on disposal of the finance leads product of $2.2 million offset by a $0.8 million write-off related to our investment in GoMoto, Inc. (“GoMoto’).
 
Income tax provision.  Income tax expense was $25.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to income tax expense of $2.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.  The Company’s effective tax rate of (64.4)% for the year ended December 31, 2017 differed from the federal statutory rate principally as a result of deferred tax asset adjustments relating to the change in the U.S. federal rate, goodwill impairment, and establishing additional valuation allowances on our deferred tax assets. The Company’s effective tax rate of 42.1% for the year ended December 31, 2016 differed from the federal statutory rate principally as a result of deferred tax asset adjustments, state income taxes and permanent non-deductible tax items. The TCJA reduced the U.S. federal corporate rate to 21%, effective January 1, 2018. In addition, the TCJA limits the Company’s annual deduction for business interest expense to an amount equal to 30% of the Company’s “adjusted taxable income” (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code) for the taxable year, also effective January 1, 2018. The amount of any business interest not allowed as a deduction for any taxable year may be carried forward indefinitely and utilized in future years, subject to this and other applicable interest deductibility limitations.
 
2016 Compared to 2015
 
Sales and Marketing. Sales and marketing expense for the year ended December 31, 2016 increased by $2.2 million or 14% compared to the prior year, due to increased headcount related costs associated with the Dealix/Autotegrity and AutoWeb acquisitions coupled with severance expense of $0.6 million and accelerated stock compensation expense of $0.3 million associated with the termination of two executive officers.
 
Technology Support.  Technology support expense for the year ended December 31, 2016 increased by $2.2 million or 19% compared to the prior year, primarily due to increased headcount related costs associated with the Dealix/Autotegrity and AutoWeb acquisitions coupled with severance expense of $0.3 million and accelerated stock compensation expense of $0.2 million associated with the termination of an executive officer.
 
General and Administrative. General and administrative expense for the year ended December 31, 2016 increased by $1.5 million or 11% compared to the prior year. The increase was due to increased headcount costs and facility fees, offset with a reduction in professional fees all associated with the Dealix/Autotegrity and AutoWeb acquisitions, together with $0.3 million in severance expense and $0.2 million in accelerated stock compensation expense for a terminated executive officer.
 
Depreciation and Amortization.  Depreciation and amortization expense for the year ended December 31, 2016 increased $2.0 million or 63% from the year ended December 31, 2015 primarily due to the addition of intangible assets associated with the Dealix/Autotegrity and AutoWeb acquisitions.
 
Litigation Settlements. Payments received primarily from 2010 settlements of patent infringement claims against third parties relating to the third parties’ methods of Lead delivery were $50,000 in 2016 compared to $108,000 in 2015. We also paid $41,000 related to settlement of claims alleged under the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003 inherited in connection with the acquisition of Dealix/Autotegrity in 2016.
 
 
 
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Interest and Other Income (Expense), net. Interest and other income was $0.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to interest and other income of $0.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2015.  Interest expense was $0.9 million and $0.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.  The year ended December 31, 2016 also included gain on disposal of the finance leads product of $2.2 million offset by a $0.8 million write-off related to our investment in GoMoto.
 
Income tax provision.  Income tax expense was $2.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to income tax expense of $3.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2015.  The Company’s effective tax rate of 42.1% for the year ended December 31, 2016 differed from the federal statutory rate principally as a result of deferred tax asset adjustments and state income taxes and permanent non-deductible tax items.  The Company’s effective tax rate of 42.5% for the year ended December 31, 2015 differed from the federal statutory rate principally as a result of deferred tax asset adjustments and state income taxes.
 
Segment Information
 
We conduct our business within one business segment, which is defined as providing digital marketing services to the automotive industry.  Our operations are aggregated into a single reportable operating segment based upon similar economic and operating characteristics as well as similar markets.  
 
Liquidity and Capital Resources
 
The table below sets forth a summary of our cash flow for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 (dollars in thousands):
 
 
 
Years Ended December31,
 
 
 
2017
 
 
2016
 
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by operating activities
 $11,488 
 $18,242 
 $12,200 
Net cash used in investing activities
  (10,402)
  (2,774)
  (28,105)
Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities
  (14,605)
  (949)
  19,151 
 
Our principal sources of liquidity are our cash and cash equivalents and accounts receivable balances. Our cash and cash equivalents totaled $25.0 million as of December 31, 2017 compared to $38.5 million as of December 31, 2016.
 
On June 7, 2012, we announced that the board of directors had authorized us to repurchase up to $2.0 million of our common stock, and on September 17, 2014 we announced that our board of directors had approved the repurchase of up to an additional $1.0 million of our common stock.   On September 6, 2017, we announced that our board of directors had authorized us to repurchase up to $3.0 million of our common stock. We repurchased 226,698 shares of our common stock with an average price of $8.37 per share during 2017. No shares were repurchased during 2016. The authorization may be increased or otherwise modified, renewed, suspended or terminated by us at any time, without prior notice.  We may repurchase our common stock from time to time on the open market or in private transactions. Shares repurchased under this program have been retired and returned to the status of authorized and unissued shares.  We funded repurchases and anticipate that we would fund future repurchases through the use of available cash. The repurchase authorization does not obligate us to repurchase any particular number of shares.  The timing and actual number of repurchases of additional shares, if any, under our stock repurchase program will depend upon a variety of factors, including price, market conditions, release of quarterly and annual earnings, and other legal, regulatory, and corporate considerations at our sole discretion.  The impact of repurchases on our Tax Benefit Preservation Plan, as amended, and on the our use of net operating loss carryovers and other tax attributes if we were to experience an “ownership change,” as defined in Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code, is also a factor that we consider in connection with share repurchases.  As of December 31, 2017, $2.3 million remains available for repurchase under the program.
 
The Company and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. (“Union Bank”), have entered into a Loan Agreement dated February 26, 2013, as amended on September 10, 2013, January 13, 2014, May 20, 2015, June 1, 2016, June 28, 2017 and December 27, 2017 (the original Loan Agreement, as amended to date, is referred to collectively as the “Credit Facility Agreement”).  Until December 31, 2017, the Credit Facility Agreement provided for (i) a $9.0 million term loan (“Term Loan 1”); (ii) a $15.0 million term loan (“Term Loan 2”); and (iii) an $8.0 million working capital revolving line of credit (“Revolving Loan”).  Term Loan 1 and Term Loan 2 were fully paid as of December 31, 2017. The outstanding balance of the Revolving Loan as of December 31, 2017 was $8.0 million.
 
 
 
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Borrowings under the Revolving Loan bear interest at either (i) the LIBOR plus 2.50% or (ii) the bank’s Reference Rate (prime rate) minus 0.50%, at the option of the Company. Interest under the Revolving Loan adjusts (i) at the end of each LIBOR rate period (1, 2, 3, 6 or 12 months terms) selected by the Company, if the LIBOR rate is selected; or (ii) with changes in Union Bank’s Reference Rate, if the Reference Rate is selected. The Company pays a commitment fee of 0.10% per year on the unused portion of the Revolving Loan, payable quarterly in arrears. Borrowings under the Revolving Loan are secured by a first priority security interest on all of the Company’s personal property (including, but not limited to, accounts receivable) and proceeds thereof. The maturity date of the Revolving Loan is January 5, 2021. Borrowings under the Revolving Loan may be used as a source to finance working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and stock buybacks and for other general corporate purposes.
 
The Credit Facility Agreement contains certain customary affirmative and negative covenants and restrictive and financial covenants, which the Company was in compliance with as of December 31, 2017. The Company is in negotiations with Union Bank regarding possible amendments to the Credit Facility Agreement to be effective prior to March 31, 2018, which amendments could require a partial paydown of the Revolver Loan. In the event these amendments are not entered into prior to March 31, 2018, the Company anticipates that it will pay off the Revolving Loan in full.
 
We believe our current cash and cash equivalent balances together with anticipated cash flows from operations will be sufficient to satisfy our working capital and capital expenditure requirements for at least the next 12 months.
 
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities.  Net cash provided by operating activities in 2017 of $11.5 million resulted primarily from net loss of $65.0 million, adjustments for non-cash charges to earnings of $75.9 million and an increase in working capital.
 
Net cash provided by operating activities in 2016 of $18.2 million resulted primarily from net income of $3.9 million, adjustments for non-cash charges to earnings of $13.4 million and an increase in working capital.
 
Net Cash Used in Investing Activities.  Net cash used in investing activities of $10.4 million in 2017 primarily consisted of $1.8 million in purchases of property and equipment and expenditures related to capitalized internal use software and $8.6 million used to purchase intangible assets.
 
Net cash used in investing activities of $2.8 million in 2016 primarily consisted of a $0.4 million investment in GoMoto, a $0.3 million in a short-term investment and $2.1 million in purchases of property and equipment and expenditures related to capitalized internal use software.
 
Net Cash (Used in) Provided by Financing Activities. Net cash used in financing activities of $14.6 million in 2017 consisted of payments on term loan borrowings of $14.1 million and cash used to repurchase Company common stock of $1.9 million.  Stock options for 248,344 shares of the Company’s common stock were exercised in the year ended December 31, 2017 resulting in $1.4 million of cash inflow.     
 
Net cash used in financing activities of $0.9 million in 2016 consisted of payments on term loan borrowings of $3.9 million.  Stock options for 386,001 shares of the Company’s common stock were exercised in the year ended December 31, 2016 resulting in $3.1 million of cash inflow.      
 
Contractual Obligations
 
The following table provides aggregated information about our outstanding contractual obligations as of December 31, 2017 (in thousands):
 
 
 
Total
 
 
Less than 1 year
 
 
1-3 years
 
 
3-5 years
 
 
More than 5 years
 
Long-term Debt Obligations (a)
 $9,000 
 $ 
 $1,000 
 $8,000 
 $ 
Operating Lease Obligations (b)
  5,467 
  1,526 
  2,349 
  920 
  672 
Total
 $14,467 
 $1,526 
 $3,349 
 $8,920 
 $672 
 
 (a) 
Long-term debt obligations as defined by ASC 470, “Debt,” and disclosed in Note 5 and 6 of the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
(b) 
Operating lease obligations as defined by ASC 840, “Leases,” and disclosed in Note 7 of the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
 
We do not have any material off-balance sheet arrangements.
 
 
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 Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
 
We prepare our financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”), which require us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. We believe the following critical accounting policies, among others, require significant judgment in determining estimates and assumptions used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements.  Accordingly, actual results could differ materially from our estimates. To the extent that there are material differences between these estimates and our actual results, our financial condition or results of operations may be affected. For a detailed discussion of the application of these and other accounting policies, see Note 2 of the “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” in Part II, Item 8 “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Revenue Recognition. Leads consist of vehicle buying Leads for new and used vehicles request fees.  Fees paid by Dealers and Manufacturers participating in our Lead programs are comprised of monthly transaction and/or subscription fees.  Advertising revenues represent fees for display advertising on our websites and fees from our click program.
 
We recognize revenues when evidence of an arrangement exists, pricing is fixed and determinable, collection is reasonably assured, and delivery or performance of service has occurred. Leads are generally recognized as revenues in the period the service is provided. Advertising revenues are generally recognized in the period the advertisements are displayed on our websites and the period in which clicks have been delivered. Fees billed prior to providing services are deferred, as they do not satisfy all U.S. GAAP revenue recognition criteria. Deferred revenues are recognized as revenue over the periods services are provided.
 
Investments.  We make strategic investments because we believe that they may allow us to increase market share, benefit from advancements in technology and strengthen our business operations by enhancing our product and service offerings.
 
Allowances for Bad Debt and Customer Credits. We estimate and record allowances for potential bad debts and customer credits based on factors such as the write-off percentages, the current business environment and known concerns within our accounts receivable balances.
 
The allowance for bad debts is our estimate of bad debt expense that could result from the inability or refusal of our customers to pay for our services. Additions to the estimated allowance for bad debts are recorded as an increase in sales and marketing expenses and are based on factors such as historical write-off percentages, the current business environment and the known concerns within the current aging of accounts receivable. Reductions in the estimated allowance for bad debts due to subsequent cash recoveries are recorded as a decrease in sales and marketing expenses. As specific bad debts are identified, they are written-off against the previously established estimated allowance for bad debts and have no impact on operating expenses.
 
The allowance for customer credits is our estimate of adjustments for services that do not meet our customers’ requirements. Additions to the estimated allowance for customer credits are recorded as a reduction in revenues and are based on historical experience of: (i) the amount of credits issued; (ii) the length of time after services are rendered that the credits are issued; (iii) other factors known at the time; and (iv) future expectations. Reductions in the estimated allowance for customer credits are recorded as an increase in revenues. As specific customer credits are identified, they are written-off against the previously established estimated allowance for customer credits and have no impact on revenues.
 
 
 
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If there is a decline in the general economic environment that negatively affects the financial condition of our customers or an increase in the number of customers that are dissatisfied with our services, additional estimated allowances for bad debts and customer credits may be required and the impact on our business, results of operations or financial condition could be material.  We generally do not require collateral to support our accounts receivables.
 
Fair Value of Financial Instruments. We record our financial assets and liabilities at fair value, which is defined under the applicable accounting standards as the exchange price that would be received for an asset or paid to transfer a liability (an exit price) in the principal or most advantageous market for the asset or liability in an orderly transaction between market participants on the measure date.  We use valuation techniques to measure fair value, maximizing the use of observable outputs and minimizing the use of unobservable inputs.  The standard describes a fair value hierarchy based on three levels of inputs, of which the first two are considered observable and the last unobservable, that may be used to measure fair value which are the following:
 
Level 1 – Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.
 
Level 2 – Inputs other than Level 1 that are observable, either directly or indirectly, such as quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities; quoted prices in markets that are not active; or other inputs that are observable or can be corroborated by observable market data for substantially the full term of the assets or liabilities.
 
Level 3 – Inputs include management’s best estimate of what market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability at the measurement date.  The inputs are unobservable in the market and significant to the instrument’s valuation.
 
Cash equivalents, accounts receivable, net of allowance, accounts payable and accrued liabilities, are carried at cost, which management believes approximates fair value because of the short-term maturity of these instruments.
 
Our investments at December 31, 2017 and 2016 consisted primarily of investments in SaleMove, Inc. (‘SaleMove”) and GoMoto and are accounted for under the cost method. Although there is no established market for these investments, we evaluated the investments for impairment by comparing them to an estimated fair value and determined that there is no impairment.
 
 The following table presents the Company’s investment activity for 2017 and 2016 (dollars in thousands):
 
 
 
Note
 
 
Note
 
 
 
 
 
 
receivable-
 
 
receivable-
 
 
 
 
Description
 
long-term
 
 
current
 
 
Investments
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Balance at December 31, 2015
 $375 
 $ 
 $680 
Purchases, (sales), issuances and (settlements), net
  (375)
  750 
   
Balance at December 31, 2016
   
  750 
  680 
Reserve for notes receivable
   
  (750)
   
Net balance at December 31, 2016
   
   
  680 
Write-offs
   
   
  (580)
Net balance at December 31, 2017
 $ 
 $ 
 $100 
 
The Company recorded an impairment of its investment in SaleMove as of December 31, 2017 because we do not believe SaleMove’s cash balance is sufficient to sustain its cash burn rate as of December 31, 2017. The Company recorded a reserve against the current notes receivable related to GoMoto as of December 31, 2016 because the Company believes the amounts may not be recoverable.
 
Variable Interest Entities.  We have an investment in an entity that is considered a variable interest entity (“VIE”) under U.S. GAAP.  We have concluded that our investment in SaleMove qualifies as a variable interest and SaleMove is a VIE. VIEs are legal entities in which the equity investors do not have sufficient equity at risk for the entity to independently finance its activities or the collective holders do not have the power through voting or similar rights to direct the activities of the entity that most significantly impacts its economic performance, the obligation to absorb the expected losses of the entity, or the right to receive expected residual returns of the entity. Consolidation of a VIE is considered appropriate if a reporting entity is the primary beneficiary, the party that has both significant influence and control over the VIE. Management periodically performs a qualitative analysis to determine if the Company is the primary beneficiary of a VIE. This analysis includes review of the VIEs’ capital structures, contractual terms, and primary activities, including the Company’s ability to direct the activities of the VIEs and obligations to absorb losses, or the right to receive benefits, significant to the VIEs.  Additionally, changes in our various equity investments have in the past resulted in a reconsideration event
 
 
 
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Based on our analysis, AutoWeb is not the primary beneficiary of SaleMove. Accordingly, SaleMove does not meet the criteria for consolidation. The SaleMove Advances are classified as an other long-term asset on the consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2017.  The carrying value and maximum potential loss exposure from SaleMove was zero and $0.6 million as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.
 
Capitalized Internal Use Software and Website Development Costs.  We capitalize costs to develop internal use software in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 350-40, Internal-Use Software, and ASC 350-50, Website Development Costs, which require the capitalization of external and internal computer software costs and website development costs, respectively, incurred during the application development stage. The application development stage is characterized by software design and configuration activities, coding, testing and installation. Training and maintenance costs are expensed as incurred while upgrades and enhancements are capitalized if it is probable that such expenditures will result in additional functionality. Capitalized internal use software development costs are amortized using the straight-line method over an estimated useful life of three years. Capitalized website development costs, once placed in service are amortized using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the related websites.
 
Share-Based Compensation Expense. We account for our share-based compensation using the fair value method in accordance with the Stock Compensation Topic of the Codification.  Under these provisions, we recognize share-based compensation net of an estimated forfeiture rate and therefore only recognize compensation cost for those shares expected to vest over the service period of the award. The fair value of each stock option award is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model based on the underlying common stock closing price as of the date of grant, the expected term, expected stock price volatility and expected risk-free interest rates.
 
Calculating share-based compensation expense requires the input of highly subjective assumptions, including the expected term of the share-based awards, expected stock price volatility and expected pre-vesting option forfeitures. We estimate the expected life of options granted based on historical experience, which we believe is representative of future behavior. We estimate the volatility of the price of our common stock at the date of grant based on historical volatility of the price of our common stock for a period equal to the expected term of the awards. We have used historical volatility because we have a limited number of options traded on our common stock to support the use of an implied volatility or a combination of both historical and implied volatility. The assumptions used in calculating the fair value of share-based awards represent our best estimates, but these estimates involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management judgment. As a result, if factors change and we use different assumptions, our share-based compensation expense could be materially different in the future. In addition, we elected to estimate the expected forfeiture rate and only recognize expense for those shares expected to vest. We estimate the forfeiture rate based on historical experience of our share-based awards that are granted, exercised or cancelled. If our actual forfeiture rate is materially different from our estimate, the share-based compensation expense could be significantly different from what we have recorded in the current period.
 
Income Taxes. We account for income taxes under the liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to temporary differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date. We record a valuation allowance, if necessary, to reduce deferred tax assets to an amount we believe is more likely than not to be realized.
 
As of December 31, 2017, we had $0.5 million of unrecognized tax benefits.  Our policy is to recognize interest and penalties accrued on any unrecognized tax benefits as a component of income tax expense. As of December 31, 2017, we did not accrue interest associated with our unrecognized tax benefits, and no interest expense was recognized in 2017.
 
On December 22, 2017, the U.S. government enacted comprehensive tax legislation known as the TCJA. The TCJA establishes new tax laws that will take effect in 2018, including, but not limited to (1) reduction of the U.S. federal corporate tax rate from a maximum of 35% to 21%; (2) elimination of the corporate alternative minimum tax (“AMT”); (3) a new limitation on deductible interest expense; (4) one-time transition tax on certain deemed repatriated earnings of foreign subsidiaries (“Transition Tax”); (5) limitations on the deductibility of certain executive compensation; (6) changes to the bonus depreciation rules for fixed asset additions: and (7) limitations on net operating losses (NOLs”) generated after December 31, 2017, to 80% of taxable income.
 
ASC 740, Income Taxes, requires the effects of changes in tax laws to be recognized in the period in which the legislation is enacted. However, due to the complexity and significance of the TCJA's provisions, the SEC staff issued Staff Accounting Bulletin 118 (“SAB 118”), which provides guidance on accounting for the tax effects of the TCJA. SAB 118 provides a measurement period that should not extend beyond one year from the TCJA enactment date for companies to complete the accounting under ASC 740. In accordance with SAB 118, a company must reflect the income tax effects of those aspects of the TCJA for which the accounting under ASC 740 is complete. To the extent that a company’s accounting for certain income tax effects of the TCJA is incomplete but it is able to determine a reasonable estimate, it must record a provisional estimate in the financial statements. If a company cannot determine a provisional estimate to be included in the financial statements, it should continue to apply ASC 740 on the basis of the provisions of the tax laws that were in effect immediately before the enactment of the TCJA.
 
At December 31, 2017, we have not completed our accounting for the tax effects of enactment of the TCJA; however, we have made a reasonable estimate of the effects of the TCJA’s change in the federal rate and revalued our deferred tax assets based on the rates at which they are expected to reverse in the future, which is generally the new 21% federal corporate tax rate plus applicable state tax rate. We recorded a decrease in deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities of $11.7 million and $0.0 million, respectively, with a corresponding net adjustment to deferred income tax expense of $11.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. In addition, we recognized a deemed repatriation of $0.6 million of deferred foreign income from our Guatemala subsidiary, which did not result in any incremental tax cost after application of foreign tax credits.  Our provisional estimates will be adjusted during the measurement period defined under SAB 118, based upon ongoing analysis of data and tax positions along with the new guidance from regulators and interpretations of the law.
 
 
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Goodwill.  Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price for business acquisitions over the fair value of identifiable assets and liabilities acquired. We evaluate the carrying value of enterprise goodwill for impairment by comparing the enterprise’s carrying value to its fair value. If the fair value is less than the carrying value, enterprise goodwill is potentially impaired. We evaluate enterprise goodwill, at a minimum, on an annual basis in the fourth quarter of each year or whenever events or changes in circumstances suggest that the carrying amount of goodwill may be impaired.  During 2015 we recognized $22.0 million in goodwill related to the acquisitions of Dealix/Autotegrity and AutoWeb.  As of December 31, 2016, we adjusted goodwill by $82,000 as a result of purchase price allocation adjustments and no goodwill impairment was recorded during the year. As a result of our annual impairment testing, a non-cash impairment charge of $37.7 million was recorded during 2017.
 
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and Intangible Assets. We periodically review long-lived assets to determine if there is any impairment of these assets. We assess the impairment of these assets, or the need to accelerate amortization, whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. Our judgments regarding the existence of impairment indicators are based on legal factors, market conditions and operational performance of our long-lived assets and other intangibles. Future events could cause us to conclude that impairment indicators exist and that the assets should be reviewed to determine their fair value. We assess the assets for impairment based on the estimated future undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use of the assets and their eventual disposition. If the carrying amount of an asset exceeds its estimated future undiscounted cash flows, an impairment loss is recorded for the excess of the asset’s carrying amount over its fair value. Fair value is generally determined based on a valuation process that provides an estimate of a fair value of these assets using a discounted cash flow model, which includes many assumptions and estimates. Once the valuation is determined, we will write-down these assets to their determined fair value, if necessary. Any write-downs could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We recorded a $0.6 million impairment in our investment in SaleMove because we do not believe SaleMove’s cash balance is sufficient to sustain its cash burn rate as of December 31, 2017. We did not record any impairment of long-lived assets in 2016 and 2015.
 
Indefinite-lived intangible assets. Indefinite-lived intangible assets consists of a domain name, which was acquired as part of the Dealix/Autotegrity acquisition in 2015, which is tested for impairment annually, or more frequently if an event occurs or circumstances changes that would indicate that impairment may exist. When evaluating indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment, we may first perform a qualitative analysis to determine whether it is more likely than not that the indefinite-lived intangible assets is impaired. If we do not perform the qualitative assessment, or if we determine that it is more likely than not that the fair value of the indefinite-lived intangible asset exceeds its carrying amount, we will calculate the estimated fair value of the indefinite-lived intangible asset. Fair value is the price a willing buyer would pay for the indefinite-lived intangible asset and is typically calculated using an income approach. If the carrying amount of the indefinite-lived intangible asset exceeds the estimated fair value, an impairment charge is recorded to reduce the carrying value to the estimated fair value. We did not record any impairment of indefinite-lived intangible assets in 2017 and 2016.
 
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
 
See Note 2 of the “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” in Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for recent accounting pronouncements.
 
Item 7A.    Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk
 
The Company does not use financial instruments for trading.  Our primary exposure to market risk is interest rate sensitivity related to our Credit Facility Agreement.  The effect of a hypothetical 10% change in interest rates would have increased our interest expense by $73,000 in the year ended December 31, 2017.
 
Item 8.       Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
 
Our Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 and our Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss), Stockholders’ Equity and Cash Flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2017, together with the report of our independent registered public accounting firm, begin on page F-1 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and are incorporated herein by reference.
 
Item 9.        Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
 
None.
 
 
 
-30-
 
Item 9A.     Controls and Procedures
 
Disclosure Controls and Procedures
 
We have established and maintain disclosure controls and procedures that are designed to ensure that material information relating to the Company and its subsidiaries required to be disclosed by us in the reports that are filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”), is recorded, processed, summarized and reported in the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms, and that this information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our chief executive officer and chief financial officer, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. In designing and evaluating the disclosure controls and procedures, management recognized that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only a reasonable assurance of achieving the desired control objectives, and management was necessarily required to apply its judgment in evaluating the cost-benefit relationship of possible controls and procedures.
 
Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our chief executive officer and chief financial officer, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures as of December 31, 2017. As a result of the identification of the material weakness described below under “Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting,” management has concluded that the Company’s disclosure controls and procedures were not effective as of December 31, 2017.
 
Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
 
Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(f) under the Exchange Act. Under the supervision and with the participation of management, including the Company’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer, management conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017. Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements or fraud. In making this assessment, management used the criteria set forth in the framework issued by the COSO entitled Internal Control—Integrated Framework (2013). As a result of the identification of the material weakness described below, management has concluded that the Company’s internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2017.
 
On March 14, 2018, Moss Adams LLP, our independent registered public accounting firm, provided us the following assessment (“Moss Adams Assessment”) in connection with their attestation report on our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017, which appears in Part IV, Item 15, Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules of this Annual Report on Form 10-K:
 
In connection with the evaluation and measurement of goodwill for impairment and valuation of deferred tax assets, we believe the Company’s management review controls were not effectively designed to operate at a sufficient level of precision, or there was not sufficient evidence to demonstrate the controls were designed to operate at a sufficient level of precision, necessary to prevent or detect a material misstatement on a timely basis. Specifically, we believe the Company did not adequately evidence management’s expectations, criteria for investigation, and the level of precision used in the performance of the controls. We also believe the controls did not sufficiently evidence the completeness and accuracy of key assumptions and other data used by management in the operation of controls. The aggregation of control deficiencies in these areas resulted in a material weakness related to internal control over financial reporting.
 
Representatives of Moss Adams discussed their assessment with members of our audit committee of the board of directors.
 
A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the Company’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. Our management is in the process of evaluating the Moss Adams Assessment and intends to promptly remediate the material weakness identified in the Moss Adams Assessment. We note that our management did in fact perform procedures designed to prevent any material misstatement of the Company’s annual or interim financial statements with respect to the evaluation and measurement of goodwill for impairment and valuation of deferred tax assets, including the engagement of independent third parties to assist management in its evaluation and measurement of goodwill for impairment and valuation of deferred tax assets. We also note that the material weakness identified in the Moss Adams Assessment did not result in a material misstatement of the Company’s consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2017.
 
Any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated can only provide reasonable assurance of achieving the desired control objective and management necessarily applies its judgment in evaluating the cost-benefit relationship of all possible controls and procedures.
 
Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
 
There have been no changes in internal controls over financial reporting identified in connection with the evaluation required by paragraph (d) of Rules 13a-15 of the Exchange Act that have occurred during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017 that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.
 
Beginning January 1, 2018, we implemented internal controls to ensure we have adequately evaluated our contracts and properly assessed the impact of the new accounting standards related to revenue recognition to facilitate adoption on that date. We do not expect significant changes to our internal control over financial reporting due to the adoption of the new standard.
 
The effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017 has been audited by Moss Adams LLP, the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their attestation report, which is included below in Part IV, Item 15, Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Item 9B.     Other Information
 
 Not applicable.
 
 
-31-
 
PART III
 
Information called for by the Items included under this Part III is incorporated by reference to the sections listed below of our definitive Proxy Statement for our 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders that will be filed not later than 120 days after December 31, 2017 (“2018 Proxy Statement”).
 
Item 10 
Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
 
The information called for by this Item 10 is incorporated by reference to the following sections of the 2018 Proxy Statement: “Proposal 1-Nomination and Election of Directors;” “Board of Directors;” “Executive Officers;” “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance;” and the following paragraphs under the section “Corporate Governance Matters” “--Committees of the Board of Directors—Audit Committee,” and “--Code of Conduct and Ethics.”
 
Item 11 
Executive Compensation
 
The information called for in this Item 11 is incorporated by reference to the following sections of the 2018 Proxy Statement: “Executive Compensation,” “Corporate Governance Matters--Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation” and “--Board’s Role in Oversight of Risk,” and “Executive Compensation--Compensation Discussion and Analysis” and “--Compensation Committee Report.”
 
Item 12 
Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
 
The information called for in this Item 12 is incorporated by reference to the following sections of the 2018 Proxy Statement: “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” and “Executive Compensation-- Equity Compensation Plans.”
 
Item 13 
Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
 
The information called for in this Item 13 is incorporated by reference to the following sections of the 2018 Proxy Statement: “Corporate Governance Matters--Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions” and “--Director Independence.”
 
Item 14 
Principal Accountant Fees and Services
 
The information called for in this Item 14 is incorporated by reference to the following sections of the 2018 Proxy Statement: “Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm and Audit Committee Report--Principal Accountant Fees and Services,” “--Audit Fees,” “--Audit Related Fees,” and “--Pre-Approval Policy for Services.”
 
 
-32-
 
PART IV
 
Item 15. 
Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
 
(a) The following documents are filed as a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K:
 
(1) 
Financial Statements:
 
 
 
Page
 
Index
 
 
F-1
 
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
 
 
F-2
 
Consolidated Balance Sheets
 
 
F-3
 
Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss)
 
 
F-4
 
Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity
 
 
F-5
 
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
 
 
F-6
 
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
 
 
F-7
 
 
(2) 
Financial Statement Schedules:
 
Schedule II- Valuation Qualifying Accounts
 
 
F-32
 
 
    All other schedules have been omitted since the required information is presented in the financial statements and the related notes or is not applicable.
 
(3) 
Exhibits:
 
 The exhibits filed or furnished as part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K are those listed in the following Exhibit Index.
 
 
 
-33-
 
 
EXHIBIT INDEX
 
Number
Description
 
 
2.1‡
Membership Interest Purchase Agreement dated as of January 13, 2014 by and among Company, AutoNation, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and AutoNationDirect.com, Inc., a Delaware corporation, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 2.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on January 17, 2014 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“January 2014 Form 8-K”)
 
 
2.2 ‡
Agreement and Plan of Merger dated as of October 1, 2015 by and among Company, New Horizon Acquisition Corp., a Delaware corporation, Autobytel, Inc. (formerly AutoWeb, Inc.), a Delaware corporation, and José Vargas, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 2.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 6, 2015 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“October 2015 Form 8-K”)
 
 
2.3‡
Asset Purchase and Sale Agreement dated as of December 19, 2016 by and among Company, Car.com, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and Internet Brands, Inc., a Delaware corporation, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 2.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on December 21, 2016 (SEC File No. 001-34761)
 
 
3.1
Sixth Restated Certificate of Incorporation of AutoWeb, Inc. (filed with the Secretary of the State of Delaware on October 9, 2017), incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.4 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 10, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“October 2017 Form 8-K”)
 
 
3.2
Seventh Amended and Restated Bylaws of AutoWeb dated October 9, 2017, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.5 to the October 2017 Form 8-K
 
 
4.1
Form of Common Stock Certificate of Company, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2001 filed with the SEC on November 14, 2001 (SEC File No. 000-22239)
 
 
4.2
Tax Benefit Preservation Plan dated as of May 26, 2010 between Company and Computershare Trust Company, N.A., as rights agent, together with the following exhibits thereto: Exhibit A – Form of Right Certificate; and Exhibit B – Summary of Rights to Purchase Shares of Preferred Stock of Company, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on June 2, 2010 (SEC File No. 000-22239), Amendment No. 1 to Tax Benefit Preservation Plan dated as of April 14, 2014, between Company and Computershare Trust Company, N.A., as rights agent, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on April 16, 2014 (SEC File No. 001-34761), Amendment No. 2 to Tax Benefit Preservation Plan dated as of April 13, 2017, between Company and Computershare Trust Company, N.A., as rights agent, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on April 14, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-34761)
 
 
4.3
Certificate of Adjustment Under Section 11(m) of the Tax Benefit Preservation Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.3 to the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2012 filed with the SEC on November 8, 2012 (SEC File No. 001-34761)
 
 
10.1■
 
Autobytel.com Inc. 1998 Stock Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.8 to Amendment No. 1 to S-1 Registration Statement filed with the SEC on February 9, 1999 (SEC File No. 333-70621), as amended by Amendment No. 1 dated September 22, 1999 to Autobytel.com Inc. 1998 Stock Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 1999 filed with the SEC on November 12, 1999  (SEC File No. 000-22239), and as amended by Amendment No. 2 dated December 5, 2001 to the Autobytel.com Inc. 1998 Stock Option Plan and Form of Stock Option Agreement under the Autobytel.com Inc. 1998 Stock Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibits (d)(5) and (d)(14), respectively, to the Schedule TO filed with the SEC on December 14, 2001 (SEC File No. 005-58067) (“Schedule TO”)
 
 
10.2■
 
Autobytel.com Inc. 1999 Employee and Acquisition Related Stock Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Registration Statement on Form S-8 filed with the SEC on November 1, 1999 (SEC File No. 333-90045), as amended by Amendment No. 1 dated December 5, 2001 to the Autobytel.com Inc. 1999 Employee and Acquisition Related Stock Option Plan, and Form of Stock Option Agreement under the Autobytel.com Inc. 1999 Employee and Acquisition Related Stock Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibits (d)(10) and (d)(16), respectively, to the Schedule TO, and Amendment No. 2 to the Autobytel.com Inc. 1999 Employee and Acquisition Related Stock Option Plan dated May 1, 2009, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.86 to the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2009 filed with the SEC on July 24, 2009 (SEC File No. 000-22239) (“Second Quarter 2009 Form 10-Q”)
 
 
 
10.3■
Form of Employee Stock Option Agreement under the Autobytel.com Inc. 1998 Stock Option Plan and the Autobytel.com Inc. 1999 Employee and Acquisition Related Stock Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 3, 2008 (SEC File No. 000-22239) (“October 2008 Form 8-K”)
 
 
 
 
-34-
 
 
 
 
 
10.4■
Autobytel.com Inc. 2000 Stock Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 99.1 to the Registration Statement on Form S-8 filed with the SEC on June 15, 2000 (SEC File No. 333-39396); as amended by Amendment No. 1 dated December 5, 2001 to the Autobytel.com Inc. 2000 Stock Option Plan and Form of Stock Option Agreement under the Autobytel.com Inc. 2000 Stock Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibits (d)(12) and (d)(17), respectively, to the Schedule TO; Amendment No. 2 to the Autobytel.com Inc. 2000 Stock Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.46 to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year Ended December 31, 2001 filed with the SEC on March 22, 2002 (SEC File No. 000-22239); and as amended by Amendment No. 3 to the Autobytel.com Inc. 2000 Stock Option Plan dated May 1, 2009, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.87 to the Second Quarter 2009 Form 10-Q
 
 
 
10.5■
Autobytel Inc. Amended and Restated 2001 Restricted Stock and Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.7 to the Post-Effective Amendment to Registration Statement on Form S-8 filed with the SEC on July 31, 2003 (SEC File No. 333-67692); as amended by Amendment No. 1 to the Autobytel Inc. Amended and Restated 2001 Restricted Stock and Option Plan dated May 1, 2009, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.88 to the Second Quarter 2009 Form 10-Q; and Form of Restricted Stock Award Agreement under the Autobytel Inc. Amended and Restated 2001 Restricted Stock and Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the October 2008 Form 8-K
 
 
 
 
10.6■
Form of Employee Stock Option Agreement under the Autobytel Inc. Amended and Restated 2001 Restricted Stock and Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.8 to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year Ended December 31, 2014 filed with the SEC on February 26, 2015 (SEC File No. 001-34761)
 
 
 
 
10.7■
 
Autobytel Inc. 2004 Restricted Stock and Option Plan and Form of Employee Stock Option Agreement under the Autobytel Inc. 2004 Restricted Stock and Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibits 4.8 and 4.9, respectively, to the Registration Statement on Form S-8 filed with the SEC on June 28, 2004 (SEC File No. 333-116930); as amended by Amendment No. 1 to the Autobytel Inc. 2004 Restricted Stock and Option Plan dated May 1, 2009, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.89 to the Second Quarter 2009 Form 10-Q; Form of Outside Director Stock Option Agreement under the Autobytel Inc. 2004 Restricted Stock and Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the November 2004 Form 8-K; Form of Stock Option Agreement under the Autobytel Inc. 2004 Restricted Stock and Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.65 to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year Ended December 31, 2004 filed with the SEC on May 31, 2005 (SEC File No. 000-22239); and Form of Outside Director Stock Option Agreement and Form of Letter Agreement (amending certain stock option agreements with Outside Directors) under the 2004 Restricted Stock and Option Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibits 10.1 and 10.2 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on September 14, 2005 (SEC File No. 000-22239)
 
 
10.8■
 
Autobytel Inc. 2006 Inducement Stock Option Plan and Form of Employee Inducement Stock Option Agreement, incorporated by reference to Exhibits 4.9 and 4.10, respectively, to the Registration Statement on Form S-8 filed with the SEC on June 16, 2006 (SEC File No. 333-135076); and as amended by Amendment No. 1 to the Autobytel Inc. 2006 Inducement Stock Option Plan dated May 1, 2009, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.90 to the Second Quarter 2009 Form 10-Q
 
 
10.9■
Autobytel Inc. 2010 Equity Incentive Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on June 25, 2010 (SEC File No. 001-34761); Form of Employee Stock Option Award Agreement, Form of 2012 Performance-Based Stock Option Award Agreement, Form of Non-Employee Director Stock Option Award Agreement and Form of (Management) Employee Stock Option Award Agreement under the Autobytel Inc. 2010 Equity Incentive Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibits 10.58, 10.59, 10.60 and 10.61, respectively, to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year Ended December 31, 2011 filed with the SEC on March 1, 2012 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“2011 Form 10-K”); and Form of 2013 Performance-Based Stock Option Award Agreement under the Autobytel Inc. 2010 Equity Incentive Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.79 to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year Ended December 31, 2012 filed with the SEC on February 28, 2013 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“2012 Form 10-K”)
 
 
10.10■
AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on June 23, 2014 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“June 2014 Form 8-K”)
 
 
10.11■*
Amended and Restated AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan (supersedes and replaces the AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan filed under Exhibit 10.1 to the June 2014 Form 8-K)
 
 
 
-35-
 
 
10.12■*
Form of Non-Employee Director Stock Option Award Agreement under the Amended and Restated AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan
 
 
10.13■*
Form of Executive Stock Option Award Agreement under the Amended and Restated AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan
 
 
10.14■*
Form of Non-Executive Employee Stock Option Award Agreement under the Amended and Restated AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan
 
 
10.15■*
Form of Subsidiary Employee Stock Option Award Agreement under the Amended and Restated AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan
 
 
10.16■*
Form of Restricted Stock Award Agreement under the Amended and Restated AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan
 
 
10.17■
Letter Agreement dated October 10, 2006 between Company and Glenn E. Fuller, as amended by Memorandum dated April 18, 2008, Memorandum dated as of December 8, 2008, and Memorandum dated as of March 1, 2009, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.77 to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year Ended December 31, 2008 filed with the SEC on March 13, 2009 (SEC File No. 000-22239) (“2008 Form 10-K”); and as amended by Memorandum dated January 31, 2017, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.13 to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year Ended December 31, 2016 filed with the SEC on March 9, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“2016 Form 10-K”)
 
 
10.18■
Amended and Restated Severance Agreement dated as of September 29, 2008 between Company and Glenn E. Fuller, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.4 to the October 2008 Form 8-K; as amended by Amendment No. 1 dated December 14, 2012, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.73 to the 2012 Form 10-K
 
 
10.19■
Letter Agreement dated August 6, 2004 between Company and Wesley Ozima, as amended by Memorandum dated March 1, 2009, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.81 to the 2008 Form 10-K; and as amended by Memorandums dated January 22, 2016 and January 31, 2017, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.16 to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year Ended December 31, 2016 filed with the 2016 Form 10-K
 
 
10.20■
Amended and Restated Severance Agreement dated as of November 15, 2008 between Company and Wesley Ozima, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.82 to the 2008 Form 10-K; and as amended by Amendment No. 1 dated October 16, 2012, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.74 to the 2012 Form 10-K
 
 
10.21■
Stock Option Award Agreement under the Autobytel Inc. 2000 Stock Option Plan, Stock Option Award Agreement under the Autobytel Inc. Amended and Restated 2001 Restricted Stock and Option Plan, and Stock Option Award Agreement under the Autobytel Inc. 2004 Restricted Stock and Option Plan each dated effective as of April 3, 2009 between Company and Jeffrey H. Coats, incorporated by reference to Exhibits 10.92, 10.93 and 10.94, respectively, to the Second Quarter 2009 Form 10-Q; Employee Stock Option Award Agreement under the Amended and Restated AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan and Employee Stock Option Award Agreement under the Amended and Restated AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan, each dated as of January 21, 2016 between Company and Jeffrey H. Coats, incorporated by reference to Exhibits 10.2 and 10.3, respectively, to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC January 27, 2016 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“January 2016 Form 8-K”)
 
 
10.22■
Second Amended and Restated Employment Agreement dated as of April 3, 2014 between Company and Jeffrey H. Coats, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 99.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on April 8, 2014 (SEC File No. 001-34761); as amended by Amendment No. 1 dated January 21, 2016, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the January 2016 Form 8-K; and as amended by Amendment No. 2 dated September 21, 2016, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to the Form 8-K filed with the SEC on September 26, 2016 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“September 2016 Form 8-K”)
 
 
10.23■
Form of Amended and Restated Indemnification Agreement between Company and its directors and officers, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 99.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on July 22, 2010 (SEC File No. 001-34761)
 
 
10.24■*
Form of Indemnification Agreement between the Company and its directors and officers
 
 
 
-36-
 
 
10.25■
 
Revised Offer of Employment Letter dated March 9, 2010 between Company and Kimberly Boren, as amended by Memorandum dated December 21, 2010 and Memorandum dated as of December 1, 2011, is incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.73 to the 2011 Form 10-K; and as amended by Memorandum dated September 21, 2016, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.4 to September 2016 Form 8-K
 
 
10.26■
 
Amended and Restated Severance Benefits Agreement dated as of February 25, 2011 between Company and Kimberly Boren, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.74 to the 2011 Form 10-K; as amended by Amendment No. 1 to Amended and Restated Severance Benefits Agreement dated November 14, 2012 between Company and Kimberly Boren, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.70 to the 2012 Form 10-K
 
 
10.27■
Restricted Stock Award Agreement under the AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan and Amended and Restated Letter Agreement dated as of April 23, 2015 between Company and William Ferriolo, incorporated by reference to Exhibits 10.3 and 10.5, respectively, to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on April 29, 2015 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“April 2015 Form 8-K”)
 
 
10.28■
Amended and Restated Letter Agreement dated as of April 23, 2015 between Company and William Ferriolo, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.5 to the April 2015 Form 8-K; as amended by Amendment No. 1 dated January 22, 2016, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.4 to the January 2016 Form 8-K; and as amended by Amendment No. 2 dated December 15, 2016, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on December 2, 2016 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“December 2016 Form 8-K”)
 
 
10.29■
 
Letter Agreement dated May 21, 2007 between Company and John Steerman, as amended by Memorandum dated March 20, 2009, Memorandum dated September 30, 2009, and Memorandum dated December 1, 2011, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.77 to the 2011 Form 10-K; and as amended by Memorandum dated January 22, 2016, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.29 to the 2016 Form 10-K
 
 
10.30■
 
Severance Agreement dated as of October 1, 2009 between Company and John Steerman, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.78 to the 2011 Form 10-K; and as amended by Amendment No. 1 dated September 19, 2012 and Amendment No. 2 dated November 7, 2012, incorporated by reference to Exhibits 10.75 and 10.76, respectively, to the 2012 Form 10-K
 
 
10.31■
Amended and Restated Employment Agreement dated April 24, 2013 between Company and John Skocilic Jr., as amended by Memorandum dated January 22, 2016 and Memorandum dated January 31, 2017, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.51 to the 2016 Form 10-K
 
 
10.32■
Amended and Restated Severance Benefits Agreement dated May 1, 2013 between Company and John Skocilic Jr., incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.49 to the 2015 Form 10-K
 
 
10.33■
Employment Offer Letter Agreement dated September 17, 2010 between Company and Ralph Smith, as amended by Memorandum dated January 1, 2013, Memorandum dated July 1, 2013, and Memorandum dated January 28, 2016, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.47 to the 2016 Form 10-K
 
 
10.34■
Amended and Restated Severance Benefits Agreement dated July 1, 2013 between Company and Ralph Smith, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.48 to the 2016 Form 10-K
 
 
10.35■*
Memorandum dated July 16, 2016, amending Employment Offer Letter Agreement dated September 17, 2010 between Company and Ralph Smith
 
 
10.36■*
Memorandum dated February 20, 2018, amending Employment Offer Letter Agreement dated September 17, 2010 between Company and Ralph Smith
 
 
10.37■
Employment Offer Letter dated February 14, 2014 between Company and Taren Peng, as amended by Memorandum dated January 31, 2017, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.49 to the 2016 Form 10-K
 
 
10.38■
Severance Benefits Agreement dated August 25, 2014 between Company and Taren Peng, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.50 to the 2016 Form 10-K
 
 
10.39■
Employee Stock Option Award Agreement under the Amended and Restated AutoWeb, Inc. (formerly Autobytel Inc.) 2014 Equity Incentive Plan dated as of September 21, 2016 between Company and José Vargas, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 21, 2016 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“October 2016 Form 8-K”)
 
 
 
-37-
 
 
10.40■
Employment Offer Letter dated February 23, 2016 between Company and José Vargas, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.54 to the 2015 Form 10-K
 
 
10.41
 
Amended and Restated Stockholder Agreement dated as of October 1, 2015 by and among Company, Auto Holdings Ltd., a British Virgin Islands business company, Manatee Ventures Inc., a British Virgin Islands business company, Galeb3 Inc., a Florida corporation, Matías de Tezanos, and José Vargas, and the other parties set forth on the signature pages thereto, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the October 2015 Form 8-K; as amended by Second Amended and Restated Stockholder Agreement dated as of October 19, 2016, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the October 2016 Form 8-K; as amended by Third Amended and Restated Stockholder Agreement dated as of November 30, 2016, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the December 2016 Form 8-K; as amended by Fourth Amended and Restated Stockholder Agreement dated as of March 1, 2017, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on March 2, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-34761)
 
 
10.42
Loan Agreement dated as of February 26, 2013 by and between Company and Union Bank, N.A., a national banking association (“Loan Agreement”); as amended by First Amendment dated as of September 10, 2013 to Loan Agreement; as amended by Second Amendment dated as of January 13, 2014 to Loan Agreement, Security Agreement dated January 13, 2014, Commercial Promissory Note dated January 13, 2014 ($9,000,000 Term Loan), and Commercial Promissory Note dated January 13, 2014 ($8,000,000 Revolving Loan), incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.4 to the January 2014 Form 8-K; as amended by Third Amendment dated as of May 20, 2015 to Loan Agreement, Commercial Promissory Note dated May 20, 2015 ($15,000,000 Term Loan), and Commercial Promissory Note dated May 20, 2015 ($8,000,000 Revolving Loan), incorporated by reference to Exhibits 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 27, 2015 (SEC File No. 001-34761); as amended by Fourth Amendment dated as of June 1, 2016 to Loan Agreement, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.5 to the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2016 filed with the SEC on August 4, 2016 (SEC File No. 001-34761); as amended by Fifth Amendment dated as of June 28, 2017 to Loan Agreement and Commercial Promissory Note dated on June 28, 2017 ($8,000,000 Revolving Loan), incorporated by reference to Exhibits 10.2 and 10.3 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on June 29, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-34761); and as amended by Sixth Amendment dated as of December 27, 2017 to Loan Agreement, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on December 27, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-34761)
 
 
10.43
 
Lease Agreement dated April 3, 1997 between The Provider Fund Partners, The Colton Company (n/k/a: GFE MacArthur Investments, LLC, as successor-in-interest to The Provider Fund Partners, The Colton Company) and the Company (“Irvine Lease”), as amended by Amendment No. 12 dated February 6, 2009 to Irvine Lease, Amendment No. 13 dated February 6, 2009 to Irvine Lease, and Amendment No. 14 to Irvine Lease dated November 9, 2010, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.79 to the 2011 Form 10-K; as amended by Amendment No. 15 dated October 31, 2012 to Irvine Lease, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.69 to the 2012 Form 10-K, and as amended by Amendment No. 16 to Irvine Lease dated August 7, 2015, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.32 to the 2015 Form 10-K; and as amended by Amendment No. 17 dated April 14, 2017 to the Irvine Lease Agreement dated April 3, 1997 between GFE MacArthur Investments, LLC, successor-in-interest to TFP Partners, and the Company, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on May 4, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-34761)
 
 
10.44‡
 
Master License and Services Agreement as of October 5, 2017 by and between AutoWeb and DealerX Partners, LLC, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 11, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-34761) (“October 2017 Form 8-K”)
 
 
10.45‡
Stockholder Agreement dated as of October 5, 2017 by and between AutoWeb, DealerX Partners, LLC and Jeffrey Tognetti, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the October 2017 Form 8-K
 
 
10.46
 
Tax Benefit Preservation Plan Exemption Agreement and Irrevocable Proxy dated November 15, 2017 by and between AutoWeb, Piton Capital Partners LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“Piton Capital”), and Piton Capital’s managing members, incorporated by reference to Exhibits 10.1 and 10.2, respectively, to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on November 17, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-34761)
 
 
10.47
 
Transitional License and Linking Agreement, made as of January 1, 2017, by and among Internet Brands, Inc., a Delaware corporation, Car.com, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and the Company, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on January 6, 2017 (SEC File No. 001-34761)
 
 
 
-38-
 
 
10.48
Convertible Subordinated Promissory Note dated as of January 13, 2014 (Principal Amount $1,000,000.00) issued by Company to AutoNationDirect.com, Inc., a Delaware corporation, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the January 2014 Form 8-K
 
 
10.49
Warrant to Purchase 69,930 Shares of Company Common Stock dated as of January 13, 2014 issued by Company to AutoNationDirect.com, Inc., a Delaware corporation, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the January 2014 Form 8-K
 
 
10.50
Shareholder Registration Rights Agreement dated as of January 13, 2014 by and between Company and AutoNationDirect.com, Inc., a Delaware corporation, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to the January 2014 Form 8-K
 
 
10.51
 
Form of Warrant to Purchase Common Stock (on an as-converted basis following the conversion of Series B Junior Preferred Stock) dated as of October 1, 2015 issued by the Company to the persons listed on Schedule A thereto, which is incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the October 2015 Form 8-K
 
 
Subsidiaries of AutoWeb, Inc.
 
 
Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm, Moss Adams LLP
 
 
24.1*
Power of Attorney (included in the signature page hereto)
 
 
Chief Executive Officer Section 302 Certification of Periodic Report dated March 15, 2018
 
 
Chief Financial Officer Section 302 Certification of Periodic Report dated March 15, 2018
 
 
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer Section 906 Certification of Periodic Report dated March 15, 2018
 
 
101.INS††
XBRL Instance Document
 
 
101.SCH††
XBRL Taxonomy Extension Schema Document
 
 
101.CAL††
XBRL Taxonomy Calculation Linkbase Document
 
 
101.DEF††
XBRL Taxonomy Extension Definition Document
 
 
101.LAB††
XBRL Taxonomy Label Linkbase Document
 
 
101.PRE††
XBRL Taxonomy Presentation Linkbase Document
 
*
Filed herewith.
 
Management Contract or Compensatory Plan or Arrangement.
 
Certain schedules in this Exhibit have been omitted in accordance with Item 601(b)(2) of Regulation S-K. AutoWeb, Inc. will furnish supplementally a copy of any omitted schedule or exhibit to the Securities and Exchange Commission upon request; provided, however, that AutoWeb, Inc. may request confidential treatment pursuant to Rule 24b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, for any schedule or exhibit so furnished.
 
††
Furnished with this report.  In accordance with Rule 406T of Regulation S-T, the information in these exhibits shall not be deemed to be “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or otherwise subject to liability under that section, and shall not be incorporated by reference into any registration statement or other document filed under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, except as expressly set forth by specific reference in such filing.
 
Item 16.                        Form 10-K Summary
 
None
 
 
-39-
 
 SIGNATURES
 
Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, on the 15th day of March, 2018.
 
 
AUTOWEB, INC.
 
 
 
 
 
 
By:
/s/ JEFFREY H. COATS
 
 
 
Jeffrey H. Coats
 
 
 
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
 
 
 
POWER OF ATTORNEY
 
KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each of AutoWeb, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Company”), and the undersigned Directors and Officers of AutoWeb, Inc. hereby constitute and appoint Jeffrey H. Coats, Kimberly Boren or Glenn E. Fuller as the Company’s or such Director’s or Officer’s true and lawful attorneys-in-fact and agents, for the Company or such Director or Officer and in the Company’s or such Director’s or Officer’s name, place and stead, in any and all capacities, with full power to act alone, to sign any and all amendments to this report, and to file each such amendment to this report, with all exhibits thereto, and any and all documents in connection therewith, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, hereby granting unto said attorneys-in-fact and agents, and each of them, full power and authority to do and perform any and all acts and things requisite and necessary to be done in connection therewith, as fully to all intents and purposes as the Company or such Director or Officer might or could do in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or any of them may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.
 
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.
 
Signature
Title
Date
 
 
 
 
 
/s/ MICHAEL J. FUCHS
Michael J. Fuchs
Chairman of the Board and Director
March 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
/s/ JEFFREY H. COATS
Jeffrey H. Coats
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director (Principal Executive Officer)
March 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
/s/ KIMBERLY BOREN
Kimberly Boren
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial Officer)
March 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
/s/ WESLEY OZIMA
Wesley Ozima
Senior Vice President and Controller (Principal
Accounting Officer)
March 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
/s/ MICHAEL A. CARPENTER
Michael A. Carpenter
Director
March 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
/s/ MARK N. KAPLAN
Mark N. Kaplan
Director
March 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
/s/ JEFFREY M. STIBEL
Jeffrey M. Stibel
Director
March 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
/s/ MATIAS DE TEZANOS
Matias de Tezanos
Director
March 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
/s/ JANET M. THOMPSON
Janet M. Thompson
Director
March 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
/s/ JOSE VARGAS
Jose Vargas
Director
March 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
-40-
 
 
AUTOWEB, INC.
 
INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 
 
 
 
Page
 
 
 
F-2
 
 
 
F-3
 
 
 
F-4
 
 
 
F-5
 
 
 
F-6
 
 
 
F-7
 
 
 
 
 
REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
 
To the Shareholders and the Board of Directors of
AutoWeb, Inc.
 
Opinions on the Financial Statements and Internal Control over Financial Reporting
 
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of AutoWeb, Inc. (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, the related consolidated statements of statements of operations and comprehensive income (loss), stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2017, and the related notes and schedule (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). We also have audited the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).
 
In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, and the consolidated results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2017, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Also in our opinion, because of the effect of the material weakness identified below on the achievement of the objectives of the control criteria, the Company has not maintained effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by COSO.
 
Change in Accounting Principle
 
As discussed in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company prospectively changed the manner in which it accounts for the balance sheet classification of deferred taxes due to the adoption of Accounting Standards Update 2015-17, Balance Sheet Classification of Deferred Taxes.
 
As discussed in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company prospectively changed the manner in which it accounts for share-based payment transactions and the related excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies due to the adoption of Accounting Standards Update 2016-09, Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting.
 
Basis for Opinions
 
The Company’s management is responsible for these consolidated financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying included in the accompanying Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting appearing under Item 9A. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s consolidated financial statements and an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
 
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud, and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.
 
 
 
 
 
Our audits of the consolidated financial statements included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures to respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.
 
A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the Company's annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The following material weakness has been identified:
 
In connection with the evaluation and measurement of goodwill for impairment and valuation of deferred tax assets, we believe the Company’s management review controls were not effectively designed to operate at a sufficient level of precision, or there was not sufficient evidence to demonstrate the controls were designed to operate at a sufficient level of precision, necessary to prevent or detect a material misstatement on a timely basis. Specifically, we believe the Company did not adequately evidence management’s expectations, criteria for investigation, and the level of precision used in the performance of the controls. We also believe the controls did not sufficiently evidence the completeness and accuracy of key assumptions and other data used by management in the operation of controls. The aggregation of control deficiencies in these areas resulted in a material weakness related to internal control over financial reporting.
 
We considered the material weakness in determining the nature, timing, and extent of the audit tests applied in our audit of the Company’s consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2017, and our opinion on such consolidated financial statements was not affected.
 
Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
 
A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
 
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
 
 
/s/ Moss Adams LLP
 
San Diego, California
March 15, 2018
 
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2012.

 
AUTOWEB, INC.
 
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except per-share and share data)
 
 
 
December 31,
2017
 
 
December 31,
2016
 
Assets
 
 
 
 
 
 
Current assets:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
 $24,993 
 $38,512 
Short-term investment
  254 
  251 
Accounts receivable, net of allowances for bad debts and customer credits of $892 and $1,015 at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively
  25,911 
  33,634 
Deferred tax asset
   
  4,669 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets
  1,805 
  901 
Total current assets
  52,963 
  77,967 
Property and equipment, net
  4,311 
  4,430 
Investments
  100 
  680 
Intangible assets, net
  29,113 
  23,783 
Goodwill
  5,133 
  42,821 
Long-term deferred tax asset
  692 
  14,799 
Other assets
  601 
  801 
Total assets
 $92,913 
 $165,281 
 
    
    
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity
    
    
Current liabilities:
    
    
Accounts payable
 $7,083 
 $9,764 
Accrued employee-related benefits
  2,411 
  4,530 
Other accrued expenses and other current liabilities
  7,252 
  8,315 
Current portion of term loan payable
   
  6,563 
Total current liabilities
  16,746 
  29,172 
Convertible note payable
  1,000 
  1,000 
Long-term portion of term loan payable
   
  7,500 
Borrowings under revolving credit facility
  8,000 
  8,000 
Total liabilities
  25,746 
  45,672 
Commitments and contingencies (Note 7)
    
    
Stockholders’ equity:
    
    
Preferred stock, $0.001 par value; 11,445,187 shares authorized
    
    
Series A Preferred stock, none issued and outstanding
   
   
Series B Preferred stock, none and 168,007 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively
   
   
Common stock, $0.001 par value; 55,000,000 shares authorized; 13,059,341 and 11,012,625 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively
  13 
  11 
Additional paid-in capital
  356,054 
  350,022 
Accumulated deficit
  (288,900)
  (230,424)
Total stockholders’ equity
  67,167 
  119,609 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity
 $92,913 
 $165,281 
 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements. 
 
 AUTOWEB, INC.
 
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)
(in thousands, except per-share data)
 
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
 
 
2017
 
 
2016
 
 
2015
 
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lead fees
 $107,045 
 $130,684 
 $120,678 
Advertising
  34,142 
  24,508 
  10,534 
Other revenues
  938 
  1,492 
  2,014 
Total revenues
  142,125 
  156,684 
  133,226 
Cost of revenues
  99,352 
  98,771 
  81,586 
Gross profit
  42,773 
  57,913 
  51,640 
Operating expenses:
    
    
    
Sales and marketing
  14,315 
  18,118 
  15,956 
Technology support
  12,567 
  13,986 
  11,740 
General and administrative
  12,110 
  14,663 
  13,189 
Depreciation and amortization
  4,781 
  5,068 
  3,106 
Litigation settlements
  (109)
  (50)
  (108)
Goodwill impairment
  37,688 
   
   
Total operating expenses
  81,352 
  51,785 
  43,883 
Operating income (loss)
  (38,579)
  6,128 
  7,757