Shares of Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) have earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the sixteen research firms that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1 year target price among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $27.04.

SONC has been the topic of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Sonic Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Sonic Corp. from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $27.00 to $30.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Sonic Corp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Wells Fargo & Company initiated coverage on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $30.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $29.00 price target on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Monday, June 26th.

Sonic Corp. (SONC) traded down 0.73% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $24.51. 707,677 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $27.17 and its 200-day moving average price is $26.34. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.02 billion, a PE ratio of 16.34 and a beta of 1.77. Sonic Corp. has a one year low of $21.12 and a one year high of $30.05.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.43 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.02. Sonic Corp. had a net margin of 13.23% and a negative return on equity of 44.21%. The business had revenue of $124 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $122.58 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.43 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 24.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Sonic Corp. will post $1.24 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 18th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 7th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.28%. Sonic Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.33%.

In other news, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.39, for a total value of $70,975.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.15, for a total transaction of $1,407,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 1,202,310 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $33,845,026.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Sonic Corp. by 121,423.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,323,947 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $135,015,000 after buying an additional 5,319,566 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Sonic Corp. by 1.0% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,553,354 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $90,114,000 after buying an additional 33,747 shares during the last quarter. RidgeWorth Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Sonic Corp. during the first quarter valued at about $50,669,000. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Sonic Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at about $30,952,000. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in Sonic Corp. during the first quarter valued at about $28,891,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.48% of the company’s stock.

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About Sonic Corp.

Sonic Corp. operates and franchises the chain of drive-thru restaurants (Sonic Drive-Ins) in the United States. As of August 31, 2016, 3,557 Sonic Drive-Ins were in operation from coast to coast in 45 states, consisting of 345 Company drive-thrus and 3,212 franchise drive-thrus. As of August 31, 2016, its restaurant design and construction consisted of a kitchen housed in a one-story building, which was approximately 1,500 square feet, flanked by canopy-covered rows of 16 to 24 parking spaces, with each space having its own payment terminal, intercom speaker system and menu board.

Analyst Recommendations for Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC)

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