Sonic Automotive (SAH) Sees Unusually-High Trading Volume

Shares of Sonic Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:SAH) saw an uptick in trading volume on Monday . 920,163 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 243% from the previous session’s volume of 268,279 shares.The stock last traded at $21.65 and had previously closed at $21.40.

SAH has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. ValuEngine upgraded Sonic Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic Automotive from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. TheStreet upgraded Sonic Automotive from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Bank of America cut Sonic Automotive from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Sonic Automotive in a report on Friday, September 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $23.67.

The stock has a market cap of $924.39, a PE ratio of 12.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.91 and a beta of 1.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.41, a current ratio of 1.06 and a quick ratio of 0.26.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $0.40 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40. The firm had revenue of $2.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.54 billion. Sonic Automotive had a return on equity of 10.47% and a net margin of 0.70%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.47 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Sonic Automotive, Inc. will post 1.82 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.92%. Sonic Automotive’s dividend payout ratio is currently 12.82%.

In other news, EVP Jeff Dyke sold 8,551 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.10, for a total transaction of $171,875.10. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 1,262,056 shares in the company, valued at approximately $25,367,325.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Heath Byrd sold 11,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.43, for a total value of $224,730.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 143,306 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,927,741.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 30.29% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Texas Permanent School Fund raised its holdings in shares of Sonic Automotive by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 19,253 shares of the company’s stock worth $374,000 after buying an additional 223 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its holdings in Sonic Automotive by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 16,133 shares of the company’s stock worth $314,000 after purchasing an additional 230 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its holdings 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 in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings in Sonic Automotive by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 200,570 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,901,000 after purchasing an additional 786 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL increased its holdings in Sonic Automotive by 3.4% in the 2nd quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 24,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $471,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. 64.43% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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