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Why Shares of TrueCar Are Slumping Today

By John Rosevear - Updated Feb 21, 2020 at 12:44PM

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A decent earnings report was overshadowed by the loss of a key partnership.

What happened

Shares of online car-shopping service TrueCar (TRUE -1.15%) were sharply lower on Friday, after a so-so earnings report and news that a key partnership will end later this year. 

As of 11:30 a.m. EST, TrueCar's shares were down about 13% from Thursday's closing price.

So what

TrueCar's fourth-quarter earnings report brought both good news and bad news. The results themselves weren't great, but they did come in ahead of Wall Street estimates and the company's own guidance. 

Revenue of $89.7 million and a net loss of $0.08 per share were both down from a year ago, but both exceeded Wall Street estimates -- and were good enough to push TrueCar's full-year results above the guidance ranges it provided in November

The entrance to TrueCar's offices in Santa Monica, California.

Image source: TrueCar.

That was the good news. The not-so-good news: USAA Federal Savings Bank, a TrueCar partner for 13 years and the source of 29% of its customers, has decided to end the partnership as of Sept. 30. 

Interim CEO Mike Darrow said that he's confident the company will be able to make up the shortfall with new partnerships, but it's unsettling news for auto investors. 

Now what

TrueCar guided to higher revenue but lower profits in the first quarter, and to full-year 2020 results roughly in line with 2019's. That won't be awful if the company meets expectations, but with a slipping new-car market and the loss of USAA looming, 2020 could be a tough ride for the company's battered shares. 

John Rosevear has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends TrueCar. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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