Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors 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. “

SONC has been the subject of several other research reports. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 price target on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Cowen and Company reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Canaccord Genuity raised their price target on Sonic Corp. from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Bank of America Corporation reissued a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price target on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Sonic Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Sunday, July 16th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $27.68.

Shares of Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) traded down 1.84% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $25.12. The company had a trading volume of 881,827 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.32 and a beta of 1.76. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $24.40 and a 200 day moving average price of $25.86. Sonic Corp. has a 12 month low of $21.12 and a 12 month high of $30.05.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $123.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $126.01 million. Sonic Corp. had a negative return on equity of 33.92% and a net margin of 13.34%. Sonic Corp.’s revenue was down 23.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.45 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Sonic Corp. will post $1.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Sonic Corp. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Wednesday, August 9th that allows the company to repurchase $160.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the restaurant operator to buy up to 16.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other Sonic Corp. news, Director Steven A. Davis acquired 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $23.00 per share, with a total value of $46,000.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 6.24% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SONC. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new stake in Sonic Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $681,000. Verition Fund Management LLC purchased a new stake in Sonic Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $307,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Sonic Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $244,000. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. grew its position in 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 acquiring an additional 134,371 shares during the period. Finally, Bluefin Trading LLC purchased a new stake in Sonic Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $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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