Sonic Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:SAH) – Equities researchers at KeyCorp upped their Q4 2017 earnings estimates for Sonic Automotive in a research report issued on Tuesday. KeyCorp analyst B. Hoselton now expects that the company will post earnings per share of $0.74 for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $0.70. KeyCorp currently has a “Hold” rating on the stock. KeyCorp also issued estimates for Sonic Automotive’s FY2018 earnings at $2.10 EPS.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $0.40 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.40. The business had revenue of $2.51 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.54 billion. Sonic Automotive had a net margin of 0.70% and a return on equity of 10.47%. The company’s revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.47 EPS.

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SAH has been the subject of a number of other research reports. TheStreet raised shares of Sonic Automotive from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $22.00 price target on shares of Sonic Automotive in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Sonic Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Sonic Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Sonic Automotive from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Sonic Automotive presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $21.75.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 12th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.01%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. Sonic Automotive’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 13.07%.

In related news, CFO Heath Byrd sold 11,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.43, for a total transaction of $224,730.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 143,306 shares in the company, valued at $2,927,741.58. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Jeff Dyke sold 8,551 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.10, for a total value of $171,875.10. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 1,262,056 shares in the company, valued at $25,367,325.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 30.29% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in SAH. Northern Trust Corp lifted its stake in Sonic Automotive by 23.6% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,201,056 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,360,000 after purchasing an additional 228,935 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its stake in Sonic Automotive by 49.4% during the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 422,930 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,226,000 after purchasing an additional 139,778 shares during the last quarter. Elliott Management Corp lifted its stake in Sonic Automotive by 17.6% during the second quarter. Elliott Management Corp now owns 892,275 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,355,000 after purchasing an additional 133,700 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Sonic Automotive by 3.5% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,344,255 shares of the company’s stock worth $47,002,000 after purchasing an additional 78,687 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp lifted its stake in Sonic Automotive by 8.2% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 823,177 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,501,000 after purchasing an additional 62,209 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.72% of the company’s stock.

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH)

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