Shares of Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) have earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the sixteen ratings firms that are covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $27.95.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on SONC shares. BidaskClub downgraded Sonic Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 16th. Bank of America Corporation restated a “buy” rating and issued a $30.00 price objective on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research note on Monday, August 14th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 13th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “buy” rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity upped their price objective on Sonic Corp. from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th.

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In related news, Director Federico F. Pena sold 1,161 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.20, for a total transaction of $29,257.20. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $29,929,006.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.59, for a total value of $1,279,500.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,187,659 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,392,193.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.24% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SONC. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Sonic Corp. by 77.7% during the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 4,797 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $127,000 after purchasing an additional 2,097 shares in the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Sonic Corp. by 74.5% during the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,290 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $167,000 after purchasing an additional 2,686 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp purchased a new stake in Sonic Corp. during the 1st quarter worth about $209,000. Aperio Group LLC lifted its holdings in Sonic Corp. by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 8,348 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $221,000 after purchasing an additional 119 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue lifted its holdings in Sonic Corp. by 72.7% during the 2nd quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 8,378 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $221,000 after purchasing an additional 3,528 shares in the last quarter.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $123.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $126.01 million. Sonic Corp. had a negative return on equity of 33.92% and a net margin of 13.34%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 23.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.45 EPS.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 17th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.16 per share. This is an increase from Sonic Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 7th. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.52%. Sonic Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.10%.

Sonic Corp. declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, August 9th that permits the company to buyback $160.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 16.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC)

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