We've all heard about the proverbial cockroaches that will apparently survive a nuclear winter. True, they may be mutated cockroaches, but they are still alive.

A similar thing has happened after the Internet nuclear winter. The survivors have mutated and are now growing at a brisk rate. One such survivor is Autobytel (NASDAQ:ABTL). In fact, the company underwent several iterations even before the Internet crash. As indicated by its name, the company first sold cars via telephone.

Last week, Autobytel reported its quarterly earnings. In the second quarter, the company posted revenues of $31.5 million, which was a 27% sequential increase from the prior quarter. It was also a 45% increase from the same quarter a year ago. The company also increased EBITDA by 31% from last year to $2.2 million.

Currently, the company is the leading Internet marketer for the automotive industry. A significant part of the growth has come from savvy acquisitions. For example, in the past quarter, Autobytel purchased iDriveonline and Stoneage (which owns Car.com).

Like other e-commerce plays -- such as Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN) and even Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) -- there has been hard thinking about the business model at Autobytel. But so far, the company appears to be executing effectively.

Moreover, Autobytel could be attractive buyout bait. Last week, the company also announced the implementation of a "poison pill."

While this may sound like the company does not want to sell out, the opposite is usually the case. A poison pill can be a great way to get a buyer to pay a higher price. Interestingly enough, the introduction of a poison pill may actually be seen as the company indicating it is "in play."

Fool contributor Tom Taulli is the author of The EDGAR Online Guide to Decoding Financial Statements . He does not own shares in any of the stocks mentioned.