Sonic Automotive Inc. (NYSE:SAH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.
According to Zacks, “Sonic Automotive is poised to benefit from capital deployment strategies and different initiatives undertaken to boost its performance. The company’s earnings per share are expected to increase in 2016. However, Sonic Automotive’s extensive merchandise inventory raises concerns. Moreover, a highly competitive industry and fluctuations in foreign exchange rate remain headwinds. Sonic Automotive’s earnings estimates have been stable lately. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”
Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) opened at 18.25 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $829.41 million, a PE ratio of 9.28 and a beta of 1.94. Sonic Automotive has a 12 month low of $15.68 and a 12 month high of $25.77. The company’s 50 day moving average is $17.28 and its 200 day moving average is $17.59.
Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50. The company earned $2.38 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.48 billion. Sonic Automotive had a net margin of 0.99% and a return on equity of 14.65%. Sonic Automotive’s quarterly revenue was down 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.46 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Sonic Automotive will post $2.10 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.10%. Sonic Automotive’s payout ratio is 10.26%.
In related news, insider O Bruton Smith bought 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $16.83 per share, with a total value of $841,500.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now owns 525,242 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,839,822.86. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 29.32% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SAH. Towle & Co. acquired a new position in shares of Sonic Automotive during the second quarter worth approximately $11,617,000. Lombardia Capital Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 23.4% in the second quarter. Lombardia Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,231,582 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,072,000 after buying an additional 233,291 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 161.0% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 304,209 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,622,000 after buying an additional 187,659 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management boosted its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 14.8% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 1,384,131 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,682,000 after buying an additional 178,025 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 19.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,064,365 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,669,000 after buying an additional 175,536 shares during the last quarter. 65.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Sonic Automotive
Sonic Automotive, Inc is an automotive retailer in the United States. The Company’s operating segments include Franchised Dealerships and EchoPark. The Company’s Franchised Dealerships segment consists of traditional retail automotive franchises that sell new and used vehicles, replacement parts and vehicle repair and maintenance services, and finance and insurance products.
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