Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) was upgraded by equities research analysts at BidaskClub from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.
Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on SONC. UBS Group restated a “neutral” rating and set a $28.00 price objective (up from $26.00) on shares of Sonic in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Canaccord Genuity restated a “hold” rating and set a $30.00 price objective on shares of Sonic in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Oppenheimer cut Sonic from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $29.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price objective (up from $29.00) on shares of Sonic in a research note on Thursday, December 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $29.64.
Sonic (SONC) traded up $0.32 during trading on Thursday, hitting $24.37. The stock had a trading volume of 1,200,815 shares, compared to its average volume of 760,577. The stock has a market cap of $937.22, a PE ratio of 16.47, a P/E/G ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 1.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87, a quick ratio of 1.81 and a current ratio of 1.81. Sonic has a 12 month low of $22.11 and a 12 month high of $30.05.
Sonic announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 14.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Sonic news, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,347 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.43, for a total value of $59,684.21. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The stock was 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 in the company, valued at $31,759,961.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 121,001 shares of company stock worth $3,347,794 over the last ninety days. 6.24% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SONC. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C acquired a new stake in Sonic in the third quarter worth $7,681,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Sonic by 25.4% during 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. OxFORD Asset Management LLP increased its holdings in shares of Sonic by 406.0% during the third quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP now owns 234,792 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $5,954,000 after purchasing an additional 188,389 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its holdings in shares of Sonic by 103.8% during 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 purchasing an additional 152,900 shares during the period. Finally, Westwood Holdings Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Sonic 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 during the period.
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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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