Zacks: Analysts Expect Sonic Automotive Inc (SAH) to Announce $0.26 EPS

Wall Street analysts expect Sonic Automotive Inc (NYSE:SAH) to report $0.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have provided estimates for Sonic Automotive’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.36 and the lowest is $0.20. Sonic Automotive posted earnings per share of $0.39 in the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year-over-year growth rate of 33.3%. The business is expected to report its next quarterly earnings report before the market opens on Wednesday, April 26th.

On average, analysts expect that Sonic Automotive will report full year earnings of $2.03 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.85 to $2.16. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the business will report earnings of $2.35 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.09 to $2.70. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that cover Sonic Automotive.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 21st. The company reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.04. Sonic Automotive had a net margin of 0.90% and a return on equity of 13.54%. The firm had revenue of $2.56 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.51 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.61 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

SAH has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Sonic Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, December 31st. CL King lowered Sonic Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 10th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $22.00 price objective (down from $24.00) on shares of Sonic Automotive in a research note on Monday, March 27th. Finally, Bank of America Corp lowered Sonic Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $26.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, February 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $24.00.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) traded down 2.20% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $20.00. 182,454 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $20.13 and a 200 day moving average price of $21.13. Sonic Automotive has a 12 month low of $16.08 and a 12 month high of $27.45. The company has a market cap of $897.70 million, a P/E ratio of 9.85 and a beta of 1.58.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 14th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 15th were paid a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 13th. Sonic Automotive’s payout ratio is 10.93%.

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In other news, Director R Eugene Taylor purchased 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 20th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $20.51 per share, with a total value of $102,550.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 12,242 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $251,083.42. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider O Bruton Smith purchased 100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 21st. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $20.14 per share, for a total transaction of $2,014,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now directly owns 578,494 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,650,869.16. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 29.32% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Sanders Morris Harris Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Sonic Automotive during the first quarter worth approximately $1,491,000. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 3.8% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 27,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $545,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 0.9% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 10,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $215,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 29.1% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 82,309 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,885,000 after buying an additional 18,571 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Elliott Management Corp raised its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 67.4% in the fourth quarter. Elliott Management Corp now owns 784,904 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,974,000 after buying an additional 315,999 shares during the last quarter. 65.90% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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