Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) had its price objective raised by Morgan Stanley from $18.00 to $20.00 in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. Morgan Stanley currently has an underweight rating on the stock.
A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic Automotive from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. Stephens upgraded Sonic Automotive from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and raised their price objective for the company from $19.00 to $30.00 in a research note on Wednesday, June 5th. ValuEngine lowered Sonic Automotive from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday. Bank of America upgraded Sonic Automotive from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $23.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Finally, Buckingham Research raised their price objective on Sonic Automotive from $15.00 to $20.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Monday, July 15th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $20.83.
Shares of NYSE:SAH traded down $1.16 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $26.28. 3,661 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 296,430. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.86, a P/E/G ratio of 4.13 and a beta of 1.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.35, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 1.03. Sonic Automotive has a 52-week low of $12.78 and a 52-week high of $28.63. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $24.03.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 13th will be given a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 12th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.52%. Sonic Automotive’s payout ratio is 22.60%.
In other news, CFO Heath Byrd sold 15,000 shares of Sonic Automotive stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.60, for a total value of $354,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 177,242 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,182,911.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 31.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Arizona State Retirement System grew its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 37,088 shares of the company’s stock worth $866,000 after acquiring an additional 365 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank grew its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 3.0% in the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 23,711 shares of the company’s stock worth $372,000 after acquiring an additional 682 shares in the last quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund grew its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 4.4% in the 1st quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 16,163 shares of the company’s stock worth $239,000 after acquiring an additional 683 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP grew its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 2.1% in the 1st quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 43,986 shares of the company’s stock worth $651,000 after acquiring an additional 885 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 1.3% in the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 89,744 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,229,000 after acquiring an additional 1,173 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 60.56% of the company’s stock.
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.
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