Sonic Co. (NASDAQ:SONC) – Oppenheimer raised their Q1 2018 earnings per share estimates for shares of Sonic in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, Zacks Investment Research reports. Oppenheimer analyst B. Bittner now expects that the restaurant operator will post earnings of $0.26 per share for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $0.25. Oppenheimer currently has a “Hold” rating on the stock. Oppenheimer also issued estimates for Sonic’s Q2 2018 earnings at $0.18 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $0.52 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $0.55 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $1.68 EPS.
A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on SONC. Citigroup started coverage on Sonic in a report on Monday, September 18th. They set a “buy” rating and a $28.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday, September 22nd. Cowen restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Sonic in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Canaccord Genuity raised their target price on Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, December 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.36.
Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) opened at $26.34 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.81, a quick ratio of 1.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87. Sonic has a 1-year low of $22.11 and a 1-year high of $30.05. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,033.37, a PE ratio of 20.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 1.74.
Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate 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 analysts’ expectations of $106.86 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.24 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 18.7% compared to the same quarter last year.
Sonic announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to repurchase $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to buy up to 14.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently declared 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 2.43%. Sonic’s dividend payout ratio is currently 43.24%.
In related news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of Sonic stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.59, for a total value of $1,279,500.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,392,193.81. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 3,670 shares of Sonic stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.21, for a total value of $103,530.70. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,061,699 shares in the company, valued at approximately $29,950,528.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 167,587 shares of company stock worth $4,537,647. 6.24% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Sonic by 8.1% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 18,464 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $489,000 after buying an additional 1,380 shares during the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its position in 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 last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in Sonic by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 111,900 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,964,000 after buying an additional 2,200 shares during the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC raised its position in 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 last quarter. Finally, TD Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Sonic by 3.6% in the 3rd quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 92,761 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,361,000 after buying an additional 3,200 shares during the last quarter.
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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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