Sonic Co. (SONC) Expected to Announce Earnings of $0.16 Per Share

Equities research analysts expect that Sonic Co. (NASDAQ:SONC) will announce earnings per share of $0.16 for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five analysts have issued estimates for Sonic’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $0.18 and the lowest estimate coming in at $0.14. Sonic reported earnings per share of $0.15 in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 6.7%. The business is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, March 27th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Sonic will report full-year earnings of $1.53 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.47 to $1.60. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the business will post earnings of $1.72 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.62 to $1.78. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that cover Sonic.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25 by $0.05. Sonic had a negative return on equity of 28.95% and a net margin of 13.68%. The company had revenue of $105.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $106.86 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.24 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 18.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Sonic from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday. Barclays upped their price target on Sonic from $27.00 to $28.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Cowen restated a “hold” rating and set a $29.00 price objective on shares of Sonic in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity restated a “hold” rating and set a $30.00 price objective on shares of Sonic in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Sonic has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $29.64.

Sonic (SONC) opened at $24.37 on Monday. Sonic has a 1-year low of $22.11 and a 1-year high of $30.05. The company has a market capitalization of $937.22, a P/E ratio of 16.47, a PEG ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 1.59. The company has a current ratio of 1.81, a quick ratio of 1.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 16th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 7th will be given a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 6th. Sonic’s dividend payout ratio is presently 43.24%.

Sonic announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase 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 purchase up to 14.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Sonic news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 3,670 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.21, for a total value of $103,530.70. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,061,699 shares in the company, valued at $29,950,528.79. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the company’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 owns 1,149,890 shares in the company, valued at $31,759,961.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 121,001 shares of company stock worth $3,347,794. 8.28% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Sonic by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,171,678 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $142,119,000 after acquiring an additional 86,842 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Sonic by 1.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,596,500 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $95,272,000 after purchasing an additional 43,146 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Sonic by 0.8% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,962,894 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $49,955,000 after purchasing an additional 15,963 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew 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 worth $37,222,000 after purchasing an additional 296,665 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Westfield Capital Management Co. LP grew its holdings in shares of Sonic by 5.2% during the third quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 1,110,995 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $28,275,000 after purchasing an additional 54,605 shares during the last quarter.

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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.

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