Shares of Sonic Automotive Inc. (NYSE:SAH) fell 2.6% on Friday . The company traded as low as $16.92 and last traded at $16.95, with a volume of 130,466 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $17.40.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research raised Sonic Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $23.75.

The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $17.79 and a 200 day moving average price of $17.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $771.24 million and a P/E ratio of 8.63.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.50. The firm earned $2.38 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.48 billion. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.46 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Sonic Automotive Inc. will post $2.10 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.18%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th.

In related news, insider O Bruton Smith acquired 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 24th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $16.83 per share, with a total value of $841,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 525,242 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,839,822.86. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink.

An institutional investor recently raised its position in Sonic Automotive stock. Morgan Stanley increased its position in Sonic Automotive Inc. (NYSE:SAH) by 3.2% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 571,049 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 17,663 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley owned approximately 1.15% of Sonic Automotive worth $12,997,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Sonic Automotive, Inc is an automotive retailer in the United States. The Company’s operating segments include Franchised Dealerships and EchoPark. The Company’s 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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