Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Sonic Corp. operates and franchises one of the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in the United States. Sonic restaurants offer made-to-order hamburgers and other sandwiches and feature Sonic signature items, such as footlong coney cheese dogs, hand-battered onion rings, tater tots, specialty soft drinks, including cherry limeades and slushes, and frozen desserts. At a typical Sonic restaurant, a customer drives into one of 24 to 36 covered drive-in spaces, orders through an intercom, and has the food delivered by a carhop within an average of four minutes. “

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 target price on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Stephens restated an “overweight” rating and set a $32.00 target price on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Monday, June 26th. BidaskClub cut shares of Sonic Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 24th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and set a $29.00 target price on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation cut shares of Sonic Corp. from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating and upped their target price for the company from $27.00 to $30.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $27.46.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) traded up 2.95% on Thursday, hitting $24.41. The stock had a trading volume of 980,045 shares. The firm has a market cap of $1.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.27 and a beta of 1.77. Sonic Corp. has a 52-week low of $21.12 and a 52-week high of $30.05. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $23.64 and its 200 day moving average price is $25.72.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $124.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $122.58 million. Sonic Corp. had a net margin of 13.23% and a negative return on equity of 44.21%. The business’s revenue was down 24.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.43 EPS. Analysts expect that Sonic Corp. will post $1.24 EPS for the current year.

Sonic Corp. declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Wednesday, August 9th that authorizes the company to buyback $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 16.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, Director Steven A. Davis bought 2,000 shares of Sonic Corp. stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 6th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $23.00 per share, with a total value of $46,000.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Over the last ninety days, insiders have bought 5,000 shares of company stock worth $117,730. Corporate insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Sonic Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $681,000. Verition Fund Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Sonic Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $307,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Sonic Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $244,000. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 24.2% during the second quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 689,611 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $18,268,000 after purchasing an additional 134,371 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bluefin Trading LLC bought a new position in shares of Sonic Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $291,000.

Sonic Corp. Company Profile

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC)

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