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

A number of research firms have weighed in on SAH. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Sonic Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Jefferies Group initiated coverage on shares of Sonic Automotive in a research report on Monday, April 11th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $18.00 target price on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $24.60.

The firm has a market cap of $836.18 million and a PE ratio of 10.45. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $17.18 and a 200-day moving average price of $18.05.

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

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

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in SAH. SECOR Capital Advisors LP purchased a new position in shares of Sonic Automotive during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,175,000. California State Teachers Retirement System increased its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 61,011 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,389,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 64,288 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,462,000 after buying an additional 1,948 shares during the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 70,526 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,605,000 after buying an additional 2,325 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Sonic Automotive by 239.4% in the fourth quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 87,240 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,986,000 after buying an additional 61,536 shares during the last quarter.

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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