UPDATE 1-Sonic Auto profits rise, outlook "challenging"


(Adds outlook, byline) By Michael Ellis DETROIT, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Auto dealer group Sonic Automotive Inc. on Tuesday said its fourth-quarter net earnings rose slightly due to stronger-than-expected car and truck sales. But Sonic set an earnings target range for 2005 that could fall short of Wall Street forecasts. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company said it expects fiscal year 2005 earnings from continuing operations of between $2.35 to $2.45 per share, while analysts had ...

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