StockNews.com Upgrades Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) to Buy

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAHGet Rating) was upgraded by StockNews.com from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

SAH has been the topic of a number of other reports. Seaport Res Ptn lowered shares of Sonic Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, April 29th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Sonic Automotive from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 8th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sonic Automotive from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, March 10th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of Sonic Automotive from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $70.00 to $57.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 7th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $50.67.

SAH opened at $47.11 on Thursday. Sonic Automotive has a fifty-two week low of $38.64 and a fifty-two week high of $58.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.45, a current ratio of 1.10 and a quick ratio of 0.46. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.14 and a beta of 2.05. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $45.19 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $47.96.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAHGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $2.33 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.45 by ($0.12). Sonic Automotive had a return on equity of 39.37% and a net margin of 2.97%. The business had revenue of $3.59 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.70 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.23 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 28.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Sonic Automotive will post 10.31 EPS for the current year.

In other Sonic Automotive news, major shareholder Paul P. Rusnak acquired 127,475 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 6th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $41.89 per share, for a total transaction of $5,339,927.75. Following the completion of the acquisition, the insider now owns 5,000,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $209,450,000. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, President Jeff Dyke sold 6,395 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.37, for a total transaction of $334,906.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 36.07% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in SAH. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Sonic Automotive by 46.4% in the fourth quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 1,649,404 shares of the company’s stock valued at $81,563,000 after purchasing an additional 522,895 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Sonic Automotive by 125.0% in the third quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 482,046 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,327,000 after purchasing an additional 267,763 shares during the last quarter. Clearline Capital LP raised its holdings in shares of Sonic Automotive by 96.5% in the fourth quarter. Clearline Capital LP now owns 291,165 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,398,000 after purchasing an additional 143,000 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Sonic Automotive by 3.5% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,191,859 shares of the company’s stock valued at $207,289,000 after buying an additional 141,294 shares during the period. Finally, Callodine Capital Management LP grew its position in Sonic Automotive by 182.1% during the third quarter. Callodine Capital Management LP now owns 195,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,245,000 after buying an additional 125,883 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 59.34% of the company’s stock.

About Sonic Automotive (Get Rating)

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 for its guests.

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