Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) Downgraded by Bank of America to Neutral

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Bank of America cut shares of Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. They currently have $29.00 price objective on the stock, up from their prior price objective of $26.00.

SAH has been the subject of a number of other reports. TheStreet upgraded shares of Sonic Automotive from a c rating to a b rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 28th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Sonic Automotive from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Stephens raised shares of Sonic Automotive from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $19.00 to $30.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 5th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Sonic Automotive from $18.00 to $20.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Sonic Automotive from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Sonic Automotive presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $21.83.

Shares of SAH opened at $26.98 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $1.15 billion, a PE ratio of 15.24, a P/E/G ratio of 3.80 and a beta of 1.85. The company has a current ratio of 1.03, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.35. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $25.29 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $19.37. Sonic Automotive has a 1-year low of $12.78 and a 1-year high of $28.96.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The company reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.47 by $0.15. The business had revenue of $2.61 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.52 billion. Sonic Automotive had a net margin of 1.05% and a return on equity of 11.27%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.35 EPS. As a group, research analysts forecast that Sonic Automotive will post 2.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 13th will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.48%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 12th. Sonic Automotive’s payout ratio is 22.60%.

In other news, CFO Heath Byrd sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.60, for a total transaction of $354,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 177,242 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,182,911.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 31.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 5.8% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 251,713 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,463,000 after purchasing an additional 13,736 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in Sonic Automotive by 0.7% during the 4th quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 192,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,643,000 after buying an additional 1,288 shares during the period. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY raised its stake in Sonic Automotive by 436.4% during the 4th quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 8,786 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 7,148 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in Sonic Automotive by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 89,744 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,229,000 after buying an additional 1,173 shares during the period. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new position in Sonic Automotive during the 4th quarter worth approximately $809,000. 60.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH)

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