The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Sonic Automotive beat slightly on revenue and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew and GAAP earnings per share shrank significantly.
Margins shrank across the board.
Sonic Automotive notched revenue of $2.07 billion. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ hoped for revenue of $2.05 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 12% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.84 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.43. The six earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.38 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.35 for Q4 were 65% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.00 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 14.7%, 70 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 2.6%, 20 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 1.0%, 250 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.00 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.31.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $8.37 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.56.
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 78 members out of 116 rating the stock outperform, and 38 members rating it underperform. Among 46 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 35 give Sonic Automotive a green thumbs-up, and 11 give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Sonic Automotive is outperform, with an average price target of $18.13.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.