Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) had its price objective hoisted by equities research analysts at Morgan Stanley from $35.00 to $38.00 in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm currently has an “equal weight” rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley’s price objective would suggest a potential downside of 8.26{d93457022679712214ff8a8035fa266341f9634f2c93d5e609b1bbb089e8c446} from the company’s previous close.

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on SAH. Zacks Investment Research restated a “buy” rating on shares of Sonic Automotive in a research note on Thursday, July 2nd. Benchmark upped their price target on Sonic Automotive from $27.50 to $39.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 17th. ValuEngine upgraded Sonic Automotive from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 23rd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price target on Sonic Automotive from $38.00 to $39.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Sonic Automotive has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $37.00.

Shares of NYSE:SAH opened at $41.42 on Wednesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $35.74 and a 200 day moving average of $26.61. The company has a market cap of $1.77 billion, a PE ratio of -18.25 and a beta of 2.76. The company has a current ratio of 0.99, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.38. Sonic Automotive has a 12-month low of $9.00 and a 12-month high of $43.50.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 30th. The company reported $0.64 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.33. The company had revenue of $2.11 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.16 billion. Sonic Automotive had a positive return on equity of 14.21{d93457022679712214ff8a8035fa266341f9634f2c93d5e609b1bbb089e8c446} and a negative net margin of 0.94{d93457022679712214ff8a8035fa266341f9634f2c93d5e609b1bbb089e8c446}. The firm’s revenue was down 19.2{d93457022679712214ff8a8035fa266341f9634f2c93d5e609b1bbb089e8c446} on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.62 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Sonic Automotive will post 2.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CFO Heath Byrd sold 7,565 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.01, for a total transaction of $264,850.65. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 141,801 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,964,453.01. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Victor H. Doolan sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.46, for a total value of $142,300.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 32,088 shares in the company, valued at approximately $913,224.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 49,500 shares of company stock worth $1,824,876 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 33.01{d93457022679712214ff8a8035fa266341f9634f2c93d5e609b1bbb089e8c446} of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Sonic Automotive during the 2nd quarter valued at $205,000. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System purchased a new stake in Sonic Automotive in the second quarter worth $208,000. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in Sonic Automotive in the second quarter worth $209,000. Two Sigma Investments LP purchased a new stake in Sonic Automotive in the first quarter worth $141,000. Finally, Hancock Whitney Corp increased its stake in Sonic Automotive by 12.8{d93457022679712214ff8a8035fa266341f9634f2c93d5e609b1bbb089e8c446} in the first quarter. Hancock Whitney Corp now owns 11,607 shares of the company’s stock worth $154,000 after purchasing an additional 1,320 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 58.92{d93457022679712214ff8a8035fa266341f9634f2c93d5e609b1bbb089e8c446} 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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Analyst Recommendations for Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH)

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