Shares of Sonic Automotive Inc (NYSE:SAH) have been given an average rating of “Hold” by the five analysts that are currently covering the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have issued a hold recommendation and one has issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1 year price target among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $24.00.

A number of research analysts recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $22.00 price target on shares of Sonic Automotive in a report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Bank of America Corp downgraded shares of Sonic Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $26.00 price target for the company. in a report on Thursday, February 23rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Sonic Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, January 20th.

In other Sonic Automotive news, insider O Bruton Smith purchased 19,273 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $18.55 per share, with a total value of $357,514.15. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 676,609 shares in the company, valued at $12,551,096.95. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director R Eugene Taylor purchased 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 20th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $20.51 per share, with a total value of $102,550.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 12,242 shares in the company, valued at approximately $251,083.42. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders purchased 124,273 shares of company stock valued at $2,474,064. 29.32% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in SAH. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 8.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 823,177 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,501,000 after buying an additional 62,209 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE increased its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 23.8% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 118,715 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,381,000 after buying an additional 22,812 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 12.5% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 356,413 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,147,000 after buying an additional 39,514 shares during the last quarter. KCG Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Sonic Automotive during the first quarter valued at about $227,000. Finally, Globeflex Capital L P purchased a new stake in shares of Sonic Automotive during the first quarter valued at about $288,000. 65.90% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Shares of Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) opened at 19.10 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $19.57 and its 200 day moving average price is $21.19. The company has a market cap of $859.33 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.09 and a beta of 1.58. Sonic Automotive has a 1-year low of $16.08 and a 1-year high of $27.45.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 26th. The company reported $0.23 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.23. Sonic Automotive had a net margin of 0.90% and a return on equity of 13.54%. The firm had revenue of $2.29 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.29 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.39 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Sonic Automotive will post $2.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th will be issued a $0.05 dividend. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 13th. Sonic Automotive’s payout ratio is 10.93%.

About Sonic Automotive

Sonic Automotive, Inc is an automotive retailer in the United States. The Company’s operating segments include Franchised Dealerships and EchoPark. Its Franchised Dealerships segment consists of retail automotive franchises that sell new vehicles and buy and sell used vehicles, sell replacement parts, perform vehicle repair and maintenance services, and arrange finance and insurance products.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SAH

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