Sonic (SONC) Earns “Hold” Rating from Oppenheimer
Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC)‘s stock had its “hold” rating restated by equities researchers at Oppenheimer in a note issued to investors on Friday. Oppenheimer also issued estimates for Sonic’s Q1 2018 earnings at $0.26 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $0.18 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $0.52 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $0.55 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $1.68 EPS.
Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on SONC. UBS Group raised their target price on shares of Sonic from $26.00 to $28.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, September 13th. Canaccord Genuity raised their target price on shares of Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Guggenheim reissued a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 target price (up previously from $29.00) on shares of Sonic in a report on Thursday, December 28th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, December 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $28.50.
Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) traded down $0.10 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $27.57. 1,602,700 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,210,467. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,080.00, a PE ratio of 18.88, a P/E/G ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 1.73. Sonic has a fifty-two week low of $22.11 and a fifty-two week high of $30.05. The company has a current ratio of 1.52, a quick ratio of 1.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.19.
Sonic announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to buyback $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to buy up to 14.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.59, for a total transaction of $1,279,500.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,187,659 shares in the company, valued at $30,392,193.81. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Federico F. Pena sold 1,161 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 23rd. The shares were 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 in the company, valued at approximately $29,929,006.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 167,587 shares of company stock worth $4,537,647. 6.24% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SONC. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Sonic by 1.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,596,500 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $95,272,000 after purchasing an additional 43,146 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in shares of Sonic by 0.8% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,962,894 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $49,955,000 after purchasing an additional 15,963 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its position in shares of Sonic by 25.4% in the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,462,539 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $37,222,000 after purchasing an additional 296,665 shares during the period. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP grew its position in shares of Sonic by 5.2% in the third quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 1,110,995 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $28,275,000 after purchasing an additional 54,605 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp grew its position in shares of Sonic by 2.0% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,083,561 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $28,707,000 after purchasing an additional 21,420 shares during the period.
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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