Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) – Stock analysts at Oppenheimer Holdings raised their Q1 2018 earnings estimates for shares of Sonic Corp. in a research note issued to investors on Monday. Oppenheimer Holdings analyst B. Bittner now expects that the restaurant operator will earn $0.25 per share for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $0.23. Oppenheimer Holdings currently has a “Buy” rating and a $29.00 target price on the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings also issued estimates for Sonic Corp.’s Q2 2018 earnings at $0.15 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $0.46 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $0.49 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $1.49 EPS.
Several other brokerages have also recently commented on SONC. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and set a $28.00 target price (down from $30.00) on shares of Sonic Corp. in a report on Sunday, June 25th. BidaskClub cut shares of Sonic Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, June 24th. Stephens reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $32.00 target price on shares of Sonic Corp. in a report on Monday, June 26th. Cowen and Company raised their target price on shares of Sonic Corp. from $23.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, June 23rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Sonic Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.68.
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Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.02. Sonic Corp. had a negative return on equity of 36.87% and a net margin of 13.34%. The company had revenue of $123.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $126.01 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.45 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 23.8% compared to the same quarter last year.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 121,423.6% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,323,947 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $135,015,000 after buying an additional 5,319,566 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. 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 buying an additional 43,146 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 5.2% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,946,931 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $51,575,000 after buying an additional 95,894 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 2.3% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,165,874 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $30,884,000 after buying an additional 26,636 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp grew its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 2.0% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,083,561 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $28,707,000 after buying an additional 21,420 shares during the last quarter.
In related news, Director Steven A. Davis bought 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 6th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $23.00 per share, with a total value of $46,000.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In the last ninety days, insiders have acquired 5,000 shares of company stock worth $117,730. Insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.
Sonic Corp. announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Wednesday, August 9th that authorizes the company to buyback $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to buy up to 16.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
About Sonic Corp.
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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