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Sonic (SAH) Q3 Earnings Beat on Robust Used Vehicle Sales

Sonic Automotive, Inc. SAH registered third-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings per share of $1.96, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.86. Higher-than-expected sales from used and wholesale vehicle segments led to the outperformance. The bottom line was also higher than $1.29 per share reported in the year-ago quarter. Total revenues amounted to $3,072.8 million, increasing 20.6% from the prior-year figure and topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,059 million.

Sonic Automotive, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Sonic Automotive, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Sonic Automotive, Inc. Quote

Key Takeaways

For the reported quarter, revenues from the sale of new vehicles rose 4.4% year over year to $1,146.9 million but missed the consensus mark of $1,229 million. Same-store unit sales volume inched down 5.1% year on year to 22,631 but gross profit per unit surged 93.2% to $5,051. Gross profit totaled $114.3 million, outpacing the consensus mark of $95 million.

Revenues from the sale of used vehicles surged 38.4% from the prior-year level to $1,309.5 million and topped the consensus mark of $1,272 million. Same-store unit sales increased from 26,084 in the prior-year period to 26,168 for the quarter under review. Gross profit per unit grew 31.9% year over year to $1,835. Gross profit totaled $47.8 million, outpacing the consensus mark of $32.4 million.

For the quarter under review, the EchoPark segment recorded revenues of $663.3 million, reflecting a 72.3% uptick from the year-ago figure. Its stores sold 25,102 units (with used-vehicle unit sales volume of 21,255), up 47% on a year-over-year basis. Meanwhile, the segment’s gross profit declined 11.6% from the prior-year quarter to $25.8 million.

Wholesale vehicle revenues soared 71.8% on a year-over-year basis to $97.1 million and beat the consensus mark of $69 million. Revenues from parts, services and collision repair were up 10.7% year over year to $355.2 million but fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $365 million. Finance, insurance and other revenues came in at $164.1 million, up from $126.8 million recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020. The metric, however, lagged the consensus estimate of $173 million.

Selling, general and administrative expenses flared up 39.2% year over year to $321.4 million for the quarter under review. The board of directors announced a quarterly dividend of 12 cents per share, which will be paid out on Jan 14, 2022 to shareholders of record on Dec 15, 2021. As of Sep 30, Sonic — whose peers include Lithia Motors LADAutoNation AN, and Group 1 Automotive GPI — had $220.1 million of cash and cash equivalents on hand. Long-term debt summed $637.7 million. Sonic currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.


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