Sonic Automotive Inc (SAH) Receives Average Recommendation of “Sell” from Brokerages

Sonic Automotive Inc (NYSE:SAH) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Sell” from the seven ratings firms that are covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation and two have assigned a hold recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $17.00.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sonic Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 6th. TheStreet lowered shares of Sonic Automotive from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 20th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on shares of Sonic Automotive in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $14.00 price objective for the company. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Sonic Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 21st.

Shares of NYSE SAH opened at $13.85 on Friday. Sonic Automotive has a 1 year low of $12.78 and a 1 year high of $23.60. The stock has a market cap of $595.65 million, a P/E ratio of 7.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12, a current ratio of 1.02 and a quick ratio of 0.24.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The company reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by ($0.17). The firm had revenue of $2.57 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.70 billion. Sonic Automotive had a net margin of 0.52% and a return on equity of 9.66%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.84 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts forecast that Sonic Automotive will post 1.82 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This is a positive change from Sonic Automotive’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.06. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. Sonic Automotive’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 13.56%.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 5.8% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 251,713 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,463,000 after acquiring an additional 13,736 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Sonic Automotive in the fourth quarter worth approximately $809,000. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC grew its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 162,131 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,231,000 after acquiring an additional 3,838 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc grew its position in Sonic Automotive by 1.3% during the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 89,744 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,229,000 after buying an additional 1,173 shares during the period. Finally, Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan bought a new stake in Sonic Automotive during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $489,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 60.64% of the company’s stock.

Sonic Automotive Company Profile

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.

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