Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) Given Neutral Rating at Cowen and Company

Cowen and Company reiterated their neutral rating on shares of Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) in a research report report published on Tuesday, October 17th.

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a buy rating and set a $32.00 price target on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a buy rating and set a $30.00 price target on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic Corp. from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $26.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 13th. Citigroup Inc. started coverage on Sonic Corp. in a research report on Monday, September 18th. They set a buy rating and a $28.00 price target for the company. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated a buy rating and set a $29.00 price target on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Sonic Corp. presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $27.73.

Shares of Sonic Corp. (SONC) traded down 0.31% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $25.60. 40,249 shares of the stock traded hands. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $24.53 and its 200-day moving average price is $25.85. Sonic Corp. has a 12-month low of $22.11 and a 12-month high of $30.05. The stock has a market cap of $1.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.66 and a beta of 1.76.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.02. Sonic Corp. had a negative return on equity of 33.92% and a net margin of 13.34%. The business had revenue of $123.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $126.01 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.45 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 23.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Sonic Corp. will post $1.35 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 17th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 8th will be given a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.49%. This is a positive change from Sonic Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. Sonic Corp.’s payout ratio is presently 38.10%.

Sonic Corp. declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, August 9th that allows the company to buyback $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the restaurant operator to purchase up to 16.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Sonic Corp. news, Director Federico F. Pena sold 1,161 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.20, for a total value of $29,257.20. Following the transaction, the director now owns 1,187,659 shares in the company, valued at $29,929,006.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.59, for a total value of $1,279,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,187,659 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,392,193.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.24% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Aperio Group LLC grew its stake in Sonic Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 8,348 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $221,000 after purchasing an additional 119 shares in the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC grew its stake in Sonic Corp. by 2.8% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 10,274 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $261,000 after purchasing an additional 275 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in Sonic Corp. by 8.1% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 18,464 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $489,000 after purchasing an additional 1,380 shares in the last quarter. Cobiz Wealth LLC grew its stake in Sonic Corp. by 2.6% in the second quarter. Cobiz Wealth LLC now owns 57,230 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,516,000 after purchasing an additional 1,447 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Denver Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in Sonic Corp. by 8.9% in the second quarter. Denver Investment Advisors LLC now owns 17,880 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $474,000 after purchasing an additional 1,465 shares in the last quarter.

Sonic Corp. Company Profile

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 Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC)

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