BidaskClub cut shares of Sonic Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:SAH) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Friday.

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine lowered Sonic Automotive from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. TheStreet lowered Sonic Automotive from a b rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 30th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $22.00 price target on shares of Sonic Automotive in a research note on Wednesday, May 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Sonic Automotive from $25.00 to $23.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, June 9th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Sonic Automotive has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $21.75.

Shares of Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) traded down 2.75% on Friday, hitting $17.65. The stock had a trading volume of 105,362 shares. Sonic Automotive has a 52 week low of $16.53 and a 52 week high of $27.45. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $18.93 and a 200-day moving average price of $20.29. The company has a market cap of $794.09 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.88 and a beta of 1.53.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $0.40 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.46 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $2.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.44 billion. Sonic Automotive had a return on equity of 11.15% and a net margin of 0.69%. Sonic Automotive’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.50 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Sonic Automotive will post $2.00 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.05 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.10%. Sonic Automotive’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 13.42%.

In other Sonic Automotive news, insider O Bruton Smith purchased 19,273 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $18.55 per share, for a total transaction of $357,514.15. Following the completion of the acquisition, the insider now directly owns 676,609 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,551,096.95. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 30.29% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Texas Permanent School Fund increased its position in Sonic Automotive by 1.2% in the second quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 19,253 shares of the company’s stock worth $374,000 after buying an additional 223 shares during the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its position in Sonic Automotive by 7.8% in the second quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 38,833 shares of the company’s stock worth $753,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares during the last quarter. Bowling Portfolio Management LLC purchased a new position in Sonic Automotive during the second quarter worth about $221,000. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan increased its position in Sonic Automotive by 388.8% in the second quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 29,230 shares of the company’s stock worth $568,000 after buying an additional 23,250 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Strs Ohio increased its position in Sonic Automotive by 11.0% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 39,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $764,000 after buying an additional 3,900 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.23% 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.

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