Sonic Automotive Inc. (NYSE:SAH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday.
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) traded up 0.16% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $18.83. 147,997 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Sonic Automotive has a 52 week low of $15.68 and a 52 week high of $25.77. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $17.43 and a 200 day moving average price of $17.59. The company has a market cap of $855.77 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.58 and a beta of 1.81.
Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.50. The company had revenue of $2.38 billion for 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%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.46 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Sonic Automotive will post $2.10 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.06%. Sonic Automotive’s dividend payout ratio is 10.26%.
In other news, insider O Bruton Smith purchased 50,000 shares of Sonic Automotive stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 22nd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $16.74 per share, with a total value of $837,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 475,242 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,955,551.08. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 29.32% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 51.5% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 183,773 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,396,000 after buying an additional 62,455 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake 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. BlackRock Group LTD raised its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 3.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 75,901 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,402,000 after buying an additional 2,846 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake 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. Finally, Menta Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Sonic Automotive during the first quarter worth approximately $410,000. 65.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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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