Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) Upgraded to Buy at upgraded shares of Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAHGet Rating) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Friday.

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Sonic Automotive from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and cut their target price for the company from $70.00 to $57.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 7th. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of Sonic Automotive from $43.00 to $40.00 in a research report on Friday, May 20th. Finally, Seaport Res Ptn cut shares of Sonic Automotive from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, April 29th.

Shares of SAH opened at $36.53 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $44.11 and a 200-day moving average price of $46.98. Sonic Automotive has a fifty-two week low of $34.28 and a fifty-two week high of $58.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.45 billion, a PE ratio of 3.99 and a beta of 2.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.45, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 1.10.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAHGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $2.33 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.45 by ($0.12). The business had revenue of $3.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.70 billion. Sonic Automotive had a return on equity of 39.37% and a net margin of 2.97%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 28.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.23 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Sonic Automotive will post 10.13 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 14th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.74%. Sonic Automotive’s payout ratio is 10.92%.

In related news, major shareholder Paul P. Rusnak bought 127,475 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 6th. The shares were bought at an average price of $41.89 per share, with a total value of $5,339,927.75. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 5,000,000 shares in the company, valued at $209,450,000. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 36.07% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. First Trust Advisors LP increased its holdings in shares of Sonic Automotive by 2.1% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 43,986 shares of the company’s stock valued at $651,000 after purchasing an additional 885 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its holdings in Sonic Automotive by 63.5% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 237,695 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,633,000 after buying an additional 92,316 shares during the period. Credit Suisse AG raised its position in Sonic Automotive by 33.6% during the 3rd quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 36,938 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,941,000 after buying an additional 9,280 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in Sonic Automotive during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $1,016,000. Finally, Dark Forest Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in shares of Sonic Automotive in the 3rd quarter valued at $38,000. 59.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Sonic Automotive Company Profile (Get Rating)

Sonic Automotive, Inc operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. It operates in two segments, Franchised Dealerships and EchoPark. The Franchised Dealerships segment is involved in the sale of new and used cars and light trucks, and replacement parts; provision of vehicle maintenance, manufacturer warranty repair, and paint and collision repair services; and arrangement of extended warranties, service contracts, financing, insurance, and other aftermarket products for its guests.

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