Sonic Automotive Inc. (NYSE:SAH) shot up 5.8% on Friday . The stock traded as high as $18.15 and last traded at $18.14, with a volume of 91,022 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $17.14.

Several research firms recently weighed in on SAH. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Sonic Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 28th. Jefferies Group began coverage on shares of Sonic Automotive in a research note on Monday, April 11th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $18.00 target price for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $24.60.

The firm has a market capitalization of $836.18 million and a PE ratio of 10.45. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $17.12 and a 200-day moving average of $18.08.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.39. The business earned $2.23 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.32 billion. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.37 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Sonic Automotive Inc. will post $2.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 13th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.10%.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Sonic Automotive by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,581,396 shares of the company’s stock valued at $58,753,000 after buying an additional 191,591 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management purchased a new position in Sonic Automotive during the fourth quarter valued at $20,677,000. Morgan Stanley raised its position in Sonic Automotive by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 571,049 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,997,000 after buying an additional 17,663 shares in the last quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC raised its position in Sonic Automotive by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 176,628 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,020,000 after buying an additional 4,073 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC purchased a new position in Sonic Automotive during the fourth quarter valued at $2,250,000.

Sonic Automotive, Inc is an automotive retailer in the United States. The Company operates through two segments: Franchised Dealerships and EchoPark. The Franchised Dealerships segment consists of traditional retail automotive franchises that sell new and used vehicles, replacement parts and vehicle repair and maintenance services, and finance and insurance products.

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