Sonic Automotive, Inc. Outperforms Competitors In Prestigious Barron's 500 Rankings

Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Sonic Automotive, Inc.

    CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 25 /PRNewswire/ --
     Sonic Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:   SAH) today announced it was named to the
 47th position of the Barron's 500, a unique measurement of how companies have
 performed for investors.  Sonic outperformed OEMs, parts manufactures and
 other automotive retailers in this exclusive ranking which measures relative
 stock and cash flow returns on investment of the 500 largest U.S. companies in
 terms of revenues.
     HOLT Value Associates, a Chicago-Based consultant to institutional
 investors and corporate managements around the world, compiled the Barron's
 500 rankings.  The rankings were based on four criteria:  The stocks
 performance relative to the S&P 500 for the 12 months ending March 31st.
 Median cash flow return on investment (CFROI) over the latest three fiscal
 years available.  Forecast growth in CFROI for the current year and revenue
 growth or decline for the past year.
     "The latest Barron's 500 rankings reveal compelling grounds for evaluating
 Sonic Automotive as an outstanding investment," said Sonic Automotive's
 President and Chief Operating Officer, B. Scott Smith.  "Current market
 conditions offer investors the opportunity to compare the strength of Sonic
 Automotive's earnings, returns on capital, available growth opportunities and
 cash generated from those opportunities to OEM's and auto parts manufacturers
 or any other sector.  The strong consumer service and parts business, combined
 with a variable cost structure, enable auto retailers to continue to post
 strong profits even when new vehicle unit sales decline" said Smith.
     The announcement comes just after Sonic announced that it beat analyst
 consensus estimates by 43 percent, reporting net income of $13.5 million, or
 $0.33 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended March 31, 2001.  Sonic
 has raised earnings expectations and has targeted earnings per share for the
 year ending December 31, 2001 of $1.55 to $1.59 and earnings per share for the
 second quarter of 2001 of $0.42 to $0.45.
     "Their results (Q1 2001) are outstanding, coming through in such a
 difficult environment," Rick Nelson, an analyst at Stephens Inc. said.  Nelson
 upgraded Sonic Automotive's stock to a "buy" from a "neutral" rating and
 raised his 12-month price target to $17 from $12.
 
     About Sonic Automotive, Inc.
     Sonic Automotive, Inc., a Fortune 300 Company and member of the Russell
 2000 Index, is the second largest automotive retailer in the United States
 operating 165 franchises and 30 collision repair centers.  Sonic can be
 reached on the Web at www.sonicautomotive.com.
 
     Included herein are forward-looking statements, including statements with
 respect to anticipated profit and earnings per share growth.  There are many
 factors that affect management's views about future events and trends of the
 Company's business.  These factors involve risk and uncertainties that could
 cause actual results or trends to differ materially from management's view,
 including without limitation, economic conditions, risks associated with
 acquisitions and the risk factors described in Exhibit 99.1 to the Company's
 Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2000.  The Company
 does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking information.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X66806898
 
 

SOURCE Sonic Automotive, Inc.
    CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 25 /PRNewswire/ --
     Sonic Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:   SAH) today announced it was named to the
 47th position of the Barron's 500, a unique measurement of how companies have
 performed for investors.  Sonic outperformed OEMs, parts manufactures and
 other automotive retailers in this exclusive ranking which measures relative
 stock and cash flow returns on investment of the 500 largest U.S. companies in
 terms of revenues.
     HOLT Value Associates, a Chicago-Based consultant to institutional
 investors and corporate managements around the world, compiled the Barron's
 500 rankings.  The rankings were based on four criteria:  The stocks
 performance relative to the S&P 500 for the 12 months ending March 31st.
 Median cash flow return on investment (CFROI) over the latest three fiscal
 years available.  Forecast growth in CFROI for the current year and revenue
 growth or decline for the past year.
     "The latest Barron's 500 rankings reveal compelling grounds for evaluating
 Sonic Automotive as an outstanding investment," said Sonic Automotive's
 President and Chief Operating Officer, B. Scott Smith.  "Current market
 conditions offer investors the opportunity to compare the strength of Sonic
 Automotive's earnings, returns on capital, available growth opportunities and
 cash generated from those opportunities to OEM's and auto parts manufacturers
 or any other sector.  The strong consumer service and parts business, combined
 with a variable cost structure, enable auto retailers to continue to post
 strong profits even when new vehicle unit sales decline" said Smith.
     The announcement comes just after Sonic announced that it beat analyst
 consensus estimates by 43 percent, reporting net income of $13.5 million, or
 $0.33 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended March 31, 2001.  Sonic
 has raised earnings expectations and has targeted earnings per share for the
 year ending December 31, 2001 of $1.55 to $1.59 and earnings per share for the
 second quarter of 2001 of $0.42 to $0.45.
     "Their results (Q1 2001) are outstanding, coming through in such a
 difficult environment," Rick Nelson, an analyst at Stephens Inc. said.  Nelson
 upgraded Sonic Automotive's stock to a "buy" from a "neutral" rating and
 raised his 12-month price target to $17 from $12.
 
     About Sonic Automotive, Inc.
     Sonic Automotive, Inc., a Fortune 300 Company and member of the Russell
 2000 Index, is the second largest automotive retailer in the United States
 operating 165 franchises and 30 collision repair centers.  Sonic can be
 reached on the Web at www.sonicautomotive.com.
 
     Included herein are forward-looking statements, including statements with
 respect to anticipated profit and earnings per share growth.  There are many
 factors that affect management's views about future events and trends of the
 Company's business.  These factors involve risk and uncertainties that could
 cause actual results or trends to differ materially from management's view,
 including without limitation, economic conditions, risks associated with
 acquisitions and the risk factors described in Exhibit 99.1 to the Company's
 Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2000.  The Company
 does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking information.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X66806898
 
 SOURCE  Sonic Automotive, Inc.