OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:SAH) by 26.7% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 345,563 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 72,819 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc.’s holdings in Sonic Automotive were worth $6,928,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the stock. Comerica Bank raised its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 4.2% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 28,081 shares of the company’s stock valued at $654,000 after buying an additional 1,136 shares in the last quarter. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new stake in shares of Sonic Automotive during the fourth quarter valued at $244,000. Guggenheim Capital LLC raised its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 124.7% in the fourth quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 158,174 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,622,000 after buying an additional 87,765 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans raised its stake in shares of Sonic Automotive by 4.2% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 14,240 shares of the company’s stock valued at $326,000 after buying an additional 570 shares during the period. 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 valued at $17,974,000 after buying an additional 315,999 shares during the period. 63.83% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Sonic Automotive, Inc. (SAH) opened at 18.05 on Friday. Sonic Automotive, Inc. has a one year low of $16.08 and a one year high of $27.45. The stock has a market cap of $812.09 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.48 and a beta of 1.46. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $18.81 and a 200 day moving average price of $21.11.
Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 26th. The company reported $0.23 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.23. Sonic Automotive had a return on equity of 12.03% and a net margin of 0.80%. The company had revenue of $2.29 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.29 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.39 earnings per share. Sonic Automotive’s revenue was up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Sonic Automotive, Inc. will post $2.00 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 15th will be given a $0.05 dividend. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.11%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 13th. Sonic Automotive’s payout ratio is 11.63%.
SAH has been the subject of several recent research reports. TheStreet lowered Sonic Automotive from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 30th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $22.00 price objective on shares of Sonic Automotive in a report on Wednesday, May 3rd. ValuEngine lowered Sonic Automotive from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Bank of America Corporation lowered Sonic Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $26.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Thursday, February 23rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on Sonic Automotive from $25.00 to $23.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, June 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Sonic Automotive presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $23.67.
In related news, insider O Bruton Smith purchased 19,273 shares of Sonic Automotive stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average price of $18.55 per share, for a total transaction of $357,514.15. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 676,609 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,551,096.95. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 30.29% of the company’s stock.
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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