Bank of America upgraded shares of Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning, MarketBeat reports. They currently have $23.00 target price on the stock.

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine downgraded Sonic Automotive from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic Automotive from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Sonic Automotive from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $22.75.

Shares of Sonic Automotive (NYSE SAH) traded up $1.15 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $21.60. The stock had a trading volume of 482,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 469,075. Sonic Automotive has a 12-month low of $15.95 and a 12-month high of $27.45. The stock has a market cap of $933.02, a P/E ratio of 13.85, a PEG ratio of 3.35 and a beta of 1.57. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.41, a current ratio of 1.06 and a quick ratio of 0.26.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $0.40 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40. Sonic Automotive had a return on equity of 10.47% and a net margin of 0.70%. The firm had revenue of $2.51 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.54 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.47 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Sonic Automotive will post 1.82 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 12th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th will be paid a $0.05 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.93%. Sonic Automotive’s payout ratio is 12.82%.

In related news, CFO Heath Byrd sold 11,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.43, for a total value of $224,730.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 143,306 shares in the company, valued at $2,927,741.58. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Jeff Dyke sold 8,551 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.10, for a total value of $171,875.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 1,262,056 shares in the company, valued at approximately $25,367,325.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 30.29% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in Sonic Automotive by 17.6% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 5,854 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after purchasing an additional 878 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in Sonic Automotive by 48.8% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 9,359 shares of the company’s stock valued at $182,000 after purchasing an additional 3,068 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its holdings in Sonic Automotive by 7.0% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 9,515 shares of the company’s stock valued at $185,000 after acquiring an additional 624 shares during the period. Laurion Capital Management LP bought a new stake in Sonic Automotive during the 2nd quarter valued at $203,000. Finally, Jane Street Group LLC bought a new stake in Sonic Automotive during the 3rd quarter valued at $260,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.40% of the company’s stock.

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Sonic Automotive Company Profile

Sonic Automotive, Inc is an automotive retailer in the United States. The Company’s operating segments include Franchised Dealerships and EchoPark. Its Franchised Dealerships segment consists of retail automotive franchises that sell new vehicles and buy and sell used vehicles, sell replacement parts, perform vehicle repair and maintenance services, and arrange finance and insurance products.

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