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

SAH has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Jefferies Group LLC restated a hold rating and issued a $22.00 price objective on shares of Sonic Automotive in a report on Friday, June 16th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Sonic Automotive from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Sonic Automotive from $25.00 to $23.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research note on Friday, June 9th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Sonic Automotive from a b rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 30th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $21.75.

Shares of Sonic Automotive (SAH) traded up 0.30% during trading on Thursday, reaching $16.90. 264,835 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $741.25 million, a PE ratio of 11.37 and a beta of 1.51. Sonic Automotive has a 52 week low of $16.45 and a 52 week high of $27.45. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $18.53 and a 200 day moving average of $19.95.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.06. Sonic Automotive had a return on equity of 11.14% and a net margin of 0.69%. The firm had revenue of $2.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.44 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.50 earnings per share. Sonic Automotive’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Sonic Automotive will post $1.86 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.18%. Sonic Automotive’s payout ratio is currently 13.42%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Sonic Automotive by 20.4% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,976 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 844 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 78.3% in the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 5,153 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 2,263 shares during the period. Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 7.1% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 6,146 shares of the company’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 405 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 4.8% in the first quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 8,891 shares of the company’s stock valued at $178,000 after buying an additional 410 shares during the period. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 48.8% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 9,359 shares of the company’s stock valued at $182,000 after buying an additional 3,068 shares during the period. 63.25% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Sonic Automotive

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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