Sonic Co. (SONC) Given Average Rating of “Hold” by Brokerages

Shares of Sonic Co. (NASDAQ:SONC) have earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the fifteen analysts that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and six 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 $29.69.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Sonic from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. BidaskClub raised shares of Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, December 2nd. Oppenheimer cut shares of Sonic from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $29.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. UBS Group reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $28.00 price objective (up from $26.00) on shares of Sonic in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Finally, Cowen reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Sonic in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th.

In related news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.62, for a total value of $1,381,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,149,890 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $31,759,961.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,347 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.43, for a total transaction of $59,684.21. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 121,001 shares of company stock valued at $3,347,794. 6.24% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its position in Sonic by 28.7% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 79,892 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,116,000 after acquiring an additional 17,822 shares during the last quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C purchased a new stake in shares of Sonic in the third quarter valued at about $7,681,000. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its holdings in shares of Sonic by 117.1% in the third quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 11,418 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $291,000 after buying an additional 6,159 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings 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 buying an additional 43,146 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its holdings in shares of Sonic by 103.8% in the third quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 300,140 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $7,639,000 after buying an additional 152,900 shares during the last quarter.

Sonic (SONC) traded up $0.32 during trading on Friday, hitting $24.37. 1,200,815 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,033,965. The stock has a market cap of $951.07, a PE ratio of 16.47, a P/E/G ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 1.59. Sonic has a 1-year low of $22.11 and a 1-year high of $30.05. The company has a current ratio of 1.81, a quick ratio of 1.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $105.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $106.86 million. Sonic had a net margin of 13.68% and a negative return on equity of 28.95%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 18.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.24 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Sonic will post 1.52 earnings per share for the current year.

Sonic announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $160.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to purchase up to 14.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 16th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 7th will be given a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 6th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.63%. Sonic’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.24%.

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About Sonic

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 (NASDAQ:SONC)

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