UPDATE 2-Sonic quarterly profit down 23 pct on rising costs


(Adds CFO comments, background, share price) DETROIT, April 26 (Reuters) - Auto dealership group Sonic Automotive Inc. on Tuesday posted a 23 percent drop in first-quarter profits, hurt by high inventories of unsold vehicles and rising interest rates. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company said profit fell to $17.12 million, or 40 cents a share, from $22.2 million, or 51 cents a share a year ago. The results included a charge of 2 cents per share for hail damage in two ...

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