Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) Receives Hold Rating from Cowen

Cowen restated their hold rating on shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) in a research note released on Tuesday, January 9th. Cowen currently has a $29.00 price objective on the restaurant operator’s stock.

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub upgraded Sonic from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, December 2nd. Oppenheimer cut Sonic from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $29.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Citigroup initiated coverage on Sonic in a research report on Monday, September 18th. They set a buy rating and a $28.00 price objective for the company. UBS Group reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $28.00 price target (up previously from $26.00) on shares of Sonic in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity boosted their price target on Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report 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 company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $29.64.

Shares of Sonic (SONC) traded down $0.87 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $24.63. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 807,920 shares, compared to its average volume of 990,123. Sonic has a 52-week low of $22.11 and a 52-week high of $30.05. The company has a market cap of $947.22, a P/E ratio of 18.52, a P/E/G ratio of 1.10 and a beta of 1.59. The company has a quick ratio of 1.81, a current ratio of 1.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last issued 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 company had revenue of $105.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $106.86 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.24 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 18.7% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Sonic will post 1.52 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 16th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 7th will be paid a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 6th. Sonic’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 43.24%.

Sonic declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 14.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director Federico F. Pena sold 4,575 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.99, for a total value of $118,904.25. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. 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 transaction of $1,381,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 1,149,890 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $31,759,961.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 121,001 shares of company stock worth $3,347,794. 6.24% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Sonic by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,596,500 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $95,272,000 after acquiring an additional 43,146 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in Sonic by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,962,894 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $49,955,000 after purchasing an additional 15,963 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its stake in Sonic by 25.4% in the 3rd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,462,539 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $37,222,000 after purchasing an additional 296,665 shares during the last quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP lifted its stake in Sonic by 5.2% in the 3rd quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 1,110,995 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $28,275,000 after purchasing an additional 54,605 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp lifted its stake in Sonic by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,083,561 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $28,707,000 after purchasing an additional 21,420 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC)

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