Cowen Reaffirms Hold Rating for Sonic (SONC)

Cowen reissued their hold rating on shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) in a research report released on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has a $29.00 price objective on the restaurant operator’s stock.

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on SONC. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $26.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, September 13th. Citigroup initiated coverage on Sonic in a research note on Monday, September 18th. They set a buy rating and a $28.00 price target on the stock. Oppenheimer restated a buy rating and set a $29.00 price target on shares of Sonic in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity raised their price target on Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $29.36.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) opened at $26.34 on Tuesday. Sonic has a 1-year low of $22.11 and a 1-year high of $30.05. The company has a market capitalization of $1,010.00, a PE ratio of 18.04, a PEG ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 1.73. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87, a current ratio of 1.81 and a quick ratio of 1.48.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, beating 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 business had revenue of $105.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $106.86 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.24 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 18.7% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Sonic will post 1.39 earnings per share for the current year.

Sonic announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $160.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to purchase up to 14.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 16th. Shareholders 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 yield of 2.43%. Sonic’s payout ratio is 43.84%.

In other Sonic news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.59, for a total transaction of $1,279,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,392,193.81. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,347 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.43, for a total value of $59,684.21. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 167,587 shares of company stock valued at $4,537,647 over the last ninety days. 8.28% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of SONC. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Sonic by 77.7% in the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 4,797 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 2,097 shares during the period. Flinton Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Sonic by 74.5% in the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,290 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $167,000 after buying an additional 2,686 shares during the period. Bayesian Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of Sonic in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $228,000. Wolverine Trading LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Sonic by 382.4% in the 3rd quarter. Wolverine Trading LLC now owns 9,110 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $232,000 after buying an additional 12,336 shares during the period. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Sonic in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $239,000.

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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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