Morgan Stanley Raises Sonic Automotive (SAH) Price Target to $25.00

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) had its price target boosted by Morgan Stanley from $23.00 to $25.00 in a research note published on Wednesday, March 14th. The firm currently has an overweight rating on the stock.

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on SAH. ValuEngine upgraded Sonic Automotive from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic Automotive from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $23.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, Bank of America upgraded Sonic Automotive from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and set a $23.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, January 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $23.25.

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Sonic Automotive stock traded down $0.40 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $19.20. 215,623 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 260,384. Sonic Automotive has a 12-month low of $15.95 and a 12-month high of $22.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a current ratio of 1.03. The stock has a market cap of $814.33, a PE ratio of 10.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.82 and a beta of 1.61.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 27th. The company reported $0.84 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $2.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.63 billion. Sonic Automotive had a return on equity of 11.17% and a net margin of 0.94%. Sonic Automotive’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.66 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Sonic Automotive will post 2.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 13th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a $0.06 dividend. This is a boost from Sonic Automotive’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $0.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.25%. Sonic Automotive’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 12.97%.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its stake in Sonic Automotive by 7.0% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 9,515 shares of the company’s stock worth $185,000 after acquiring an additional 624 shares during the last quarter. Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new position in Sonic Automotive in the 3rd quarter worth $260,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Sonic Automotive in the 4th quarter worth $271,000. Voya Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Sonic Automotive by 14.1% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 14,478 shares of the company’s stock worth $282,000 after acquiring an additional 1,790 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in Sonic Automotive by 53.7% in the 3rd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 14,385 shares of the company’s stock worth $293,000 after acquiring an additional 5,026 shares during the last quarter. 64.16% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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