Sonic Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:SAH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Sonic Automotive is expanding its network of stores to boost sales. Also, the company actively pursues capital deployment strategies to boost shareholder value. The company plans to offset dilution caused by equity compensation awards through regular share repurchase programs. It is expected that over the long term, the company has the ability to enhance service capacity and raise revenues. However, the company has lowered down its 2017 estimates for new vehicle seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales, which is in the range of 16.5 million and 17 million vehicles, down from the previous expectation of 17 million to 17.5 million. This will have an adverse impact on the results of the company. Moreover, weakness in the Houston market, where Sonic Automotive has considerable exposure, is also likely to adversely impact its sales and profit.”

Several other research analysts also recently commented on the stock. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Sonic Automotive in a report on Friday, September 1st. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Sonic Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $22.00 target price on shares of Sonic Automotive in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $21.75.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) traded up 2.22% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $20.70. 133,661 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $907.92 million, a PE ratio of 13.93 and a beta of 1.51. The company’s 50-day moving average is $19.32 and its 200-day moving average is $18.84. Sonic Automotive has a 1-year low of $15.95 and a 1-year high of $27.45.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $0.40 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.46 by ($0.06). The firm had revenue of $2.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.44 billion. Sonic Automotive had a return on equity of 11.14% and a net margin of 0.69%. The business’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.50 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Sonic Automotive will post $1.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in Sonic Automotive by 20.4% in the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,976 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after acquiring an additional 844 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue grew its position in Sonic Automotive by 78.3% in the 2nd quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 5,153 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 2,263 shares during the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC grew its position in Sonic Automotive by 7.1% in the 1st quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 6,146 shares of the company’s stock worth $123,000 after purchasing an additional 405 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its position in Sonic Automotive by 4.8% in the 1st quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 8,891 shares of the company’s stock worth $178,000 after purchasing an additional 410 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its position in Sonic Automotive by 48.8% in the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 9,359 shares of the company’s stock worth $182,000 after purchasing an additional 3,068 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.74% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH)

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