Copart (NASDAQ: CPRT) and Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) are both business services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, dividends, risk, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and profitabiliy.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Copart and Sonic Automotive, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Copart 0 5 1 0 2.17
Sonic Automotive 0 3 1 0 2.25

Copart presently has a consensus price target of $52.50, indicating a potential upside of 66.98%. Sonic Automotive has a consensus price target of $23.67, indicating a potential upside of 21.06%. Given Copart’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Copart is more favorable than Sonic Automotive.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

40.4% of Copart shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 63.8% of Sonic Automotive shares are held by institutional investors. 17.0% of Copart shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 30.3% of Sonic Automotive shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Copart and Sonic Automotive’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Copart $1.40 billion 5.17 $504.25 million $1.72 18.28
Sonic Automotive $9.78 billion 0.09 $299.99 million $1.72 11.37

Copart has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Sonic Automotive. Sonic Automotive is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Copart, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Sonic Automotive pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Copart does not pay a dividend. Sonic Automotive pays out 11.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility & Risk

Copart has a beta of 1.11, suggesting that its stock price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sonic Automotive has a beta of 1.46, suggesting that its stock price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Copart and Sonic Automotive’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Copart 29.10% 33.20% 16.35%
Sonic Automotive 0.80% 12.03% 2.38%

Summary

Copart beats Sonic Automotive on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Copart Company Profile

Copart, Inc. (Copart) is a provider of online auctions and vehicle remarketing services in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Brazil, Ireland, Spain and India. The Company also provides vehicle remarketing services in Germany. The Company operates through two segments: United States and International. The Company provides vehicle sellers with a range of services to process and sell vehicles primarily over the Internet through its virtual bidding third generation Internet auction-style sales technology (VB3). The Company’s service offerings include Online Seller Access, Salvage Estimation Services, Estimating Services, End-Of-Life Vehicle Processing, Virtual Insured Exchange (VIX), Transportation Services, Vehicle Inspection Stations, On-Demand Reporting, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Processing, Flexible Vehicle Processing Programs, Buy It Now, Member Network, Sales Process, Copart Dealer Services, CashForCars.com and U-Pull-It.

Sonic Automotive Company Profile

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. The EchoPark segment consists of standalone specialty retail locations that provide customers an opportunity to search, buy, service, finance and sell pre-owned vehicles. Its franchised dealerships provide services, including sales of both new and used cars, and light trucks; sales of replacement parts and performance of vehicle maintenance, manufacturer warranty repairs, and paint and collision repair services (collectively, Fixed Operations), and arrangement of extended warranties, service contracts, financing, insurance and other aftermarket products (collectively, F&I) for its customers.

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