Zacks: Analysts Anticipate Sonic Automotive Inc (SAH) Will Post Quarterly Sales of $2.41 Billion

Wall Street brokerages forecast that Sonic Automotive Inc (NYSE:SAH) will announce $2.41 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have issued estimates for Sonic Automotive’s earnings. The highest sales estimate is $2.48 billion and the lowest is $2.33 billion. Sonic Automotive reported sales of $2.40 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 0.4%. The firm is scheduled to report its next earnings report on Thursday, April 25th.

On average, analysts expect that Sonic Automotive will report full year sales of $9.78 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $9.30 billion to $10.35 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the business will report sales of $9.91 billion, with estimates ranging from $9.07 billion to $10.99 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Sonic Automotive.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 20th. The company reported $0.76 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by ($0.17). Sonic Automotive had a return on equity of 9.66% and a net margin of 0.52%. The business had revenue of $2.57 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.70 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.84 EPS. Sonic Automotive’s quarterly revenue was down 3.5% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on SAH shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Sonic Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. ValuEngine cut Sonic Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 21st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on Sonic Automotive in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $14.00 price target for the company. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and two have assigned a hold rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Sell” and a consensus price target of $17.20.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Legal & General Group Plc increased its holdings in 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 purchasing an additional 1,173 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings in Sonic Automotive by 0.7% in the 4th quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 192,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,643,000 after purchasing an additional 1,288 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in Sonic Automotive by 2.0% in the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 109,452 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,506,000 after purchasing an additional 2,094 shares in the last quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Sonic Automotive by 15.1% in the 4th quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC now owns 16,309 shares of the company’s stock worth $224,000 after purchasing an additional 2,137 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System increased its holdings in Sonic Automotive by 6.3% in the 4th quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 36,429 shares of the company’s stock worth $501,000 after purchasing an additional 2,158 shares in the last quarter. 60.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Sonic Automotive stock opened at $13.91 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.24, a current ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12. Sonic Automotive has a 52 week low of $12.78 and a 52 week high of $23.60. The firm has a market cap of $622.63 million, a PE ratio of 7.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.33 and a beta of 1.47.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.88%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. This is a boost from Sonic Automotive’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.06. Sonic Automotive’s dividend payout ratio is presently 22.60%.

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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