Shares of Sonic Automotive Inc. (NYSE:SAH) traded down 2.6% on Friday . The stock traded as low as $16.92 and last traded at $16.95, with a volume of 130,466 shares trading hands. 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 note on Thursday. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Sonic Automotive currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $23.75.

The stock has a market capitalization of $771.24 million and a PE ratio of 8.63. The company’s 50-day moving average is $17.79 and its 200-day moving average is $17.70.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50. The firm earned $2.38 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.48 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.46 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Sonic Automotive Inc. will post $2.10 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a $0.05 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.18%.

In other news, insider O Bruton Smith bought 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 22nd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $16.74 per share, for a total transaction of $837,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now directly owns 475,242 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,955,551.08. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink.

A hedge fund recently raised its stake in Sonic Automotive stock. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of 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 firm owned 571,049 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 17,663 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley owned about 1.15% of Sonic Automotive worth $12,997,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

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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