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Sonic Automotive Hits Estimates in Solid Quarter

Wednesday - 4/24/2013, 2:00am  ET

Sonic Automotive reported earnings on April 23. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Sonic Automotive met expectations on revenues and met expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased. Non-GAAP earnings per share increased significantly. GAAP earnings per share increased.

Gross margins contracted, operating margins dropped, net margins were steady.

Revenue details
Sonic Automotive recorded revenue of $2.08 billion. The eight analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated a top line of $2.08 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter's.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.41. The nine earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.41 per share. Non-GAAP EPS of $0.41 for Q1 were 37% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.30 per share. (The prior-year quarter included $0.02 per share in earnings from discontinued operations.) GAAP EPS of $0.40 for Q1 were 14% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.35 per share. (The prior-year quarter included $0.02 per share in earnings from discontinued operations.)

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 15.0%, 70 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 2.6%, 10 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 1.0%, much about the same as the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.30 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.52.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $8.98 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.00.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 81 members out of 116 rating the stock outperform, and 35 members rating it underperform. Among 40 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 32 give Sonic Automotive a green thumbs-up, and eight 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 $24.75.

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This article was originally published as Sonic Automotive Hits Estimates in Solid Quarteron Fool.com

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