The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Sonic Automotive missed estimates on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew. Non-GAAP earnings per share grew significantly. GAAP earnings per share expanded significantly.
Gross margins shrank, operating margins grew, net margins grew.
Sonic Automotive notched revenue of $2.19 billion. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ foresaw revenue of $2.30 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 5.7% higher than the prior-year quarter's $2.07 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS came in at $0.53. The nine earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.50 per share. Non-GAAP EPS of $0.53 for Q4 were 23% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.43 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.55 for Q4 were 57% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.35 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 14.4%, 30 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 3.0%, 40 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 1.4%, 40 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.07 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.42.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $9.14 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.98.
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 83 members out of 118 rating the stock outperform, and 35 members rating it underperform. Among 44 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 37 give Sonic Automotive a green thumbs-up, and seven give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Sonic Automotive is hold, with an average price target of $22.38.
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