BlackRock Inc. Increases Stake in Sonic Automotive Inc (SAH)

BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Sonic Automotive Inc (NYSE:SAH) by 4.7% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 4,261,659 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 189,881 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned approximately 9.97% of Sonic Automotive worth $58,641,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc grew its holdings in shares of Sonic Automotive by 1.9% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 2,338,677 shares of the company’s stock worth $45,253,000 after buying an additional 44,150 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Sonic Automotive by 1.9% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,338,677 shares of the company’s stock worth $45,253,000 after buying an additional 44,150 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Sonic Automotive by 4.4% during the fourth quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 686,260 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,443,000 after buying an additional 28,633 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in shares of Sonic Automotive by 3.2% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 417,788 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,084,000 after buying an additional 13,110 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in shares of Sonic Automotive by 24.7% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 259,545 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,022,000 after buying an additional 51,402 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 60.56% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on SAH shares. Bank of America raised shares of Sonic Automotive from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sonic Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, January 3rd. ValuEngine raised shares of Sonic Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on shares of Sonic Automotive in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $14.00 target price for the company. Two equities research analysts have 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 company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $18.17.

SAH stock traded up $2.86 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $20.63. 535,033 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 209,886. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12, a current ratio of 1.02 and a quick ratio of 0.24. The firm has a market cap of $660.49 million, a PE ratio of 11.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 1.47. Sonic Automotive Inc has a 12-month low of $12.78 and a 12-month high of $23.60.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.17. The company had revenue of $2.39 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.42 billion. Sonic Automotive had a net margin of 0.52% and a return on equity of 9.66%. Sonic Automotive’s revenue was down .5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.26 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Sonic Automotive Inc will post 1.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 13th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.94%. Sonic Automotive’s dividend payout ratio is presently 22.60%.

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About Sonic Automotive

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.

Further Reading: Beige Book

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH)

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