Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning.
According to Zacks, “Sonic Corp., America’s Drive-in has built a dominant position in the drive-in restaurant business. They did it by sticking to what made drive-ins so popular in the first place: made-to-order American classics, signature menu items, speedy service from friendly Carhops and heaping helpings of fun and personality. Today, Sonic is the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in America. As a business, they continue to thrive, maintaining strong real sales growth, industry-leading customer frequency and high returns for their stockholders. So take a cruise through their website to learn more about our company and the people who help make it an American success story. “
Several other research analysts also recently commented on SONC. Telsey Advisory Group reissued a market perform rating and set a $28.00 target price (down previously from $31.00) on shares of Sonic in a research note on Wednesday. BidaskClub raised Sonic from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Oppenheimer reissued a hold rating on shares of Sonic in a research note on Friday, January 5th. UBS reissued a neutral rating and set a $28.00 target price (up previously from $26.00) on shares of Sonic in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a hold rating and set a $30.00 target price on shares of Sonic in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $29.43.
Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) opened at $24.74 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87, a quick ratio of 1.81 and a current ratio of 1.81. The company has a market capitalization of $951.45, a PE ratio of 18.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.10 and a beta of 1.55. Sonic has a 52 week low of $22.11 and a 52 week high of $30.05.
Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $105.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $106.86 million. Sonic had a negative return on equity of 28.95% and a net margin of 13.68%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 18.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.24 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Sonic will post 1.53 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 16th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 7th were paid a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, February 6th. Sonic’s dividend payout ratio is currently 43.24%.
In other news, Director Federico F. Pena sold 9,686 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.61, for a total value of $238,372.46. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Federico F. Pena sold 4,575 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.99, for a total value of $118,904.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 17,931 shares of company stock valued at $460,807 in the last ninety days. 6.24% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Glenmede Trust Co. NA boosted its holdings in Sonic by 97.2% in the fourth quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 4,634 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $126,000 after acquiring an additional 2,284 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC bought a new stake in Sonic in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Elkfork Partners LLC bought a new stake in Sonic in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $209,000. Wolverine Trading LLC boosted its holdings in Sonic by 382.4% in the third quarter. Wolverine Trading LLC now owns 9,110 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $232,000 after acquiring an additional 12,336 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in Sonic in the third quarter valued at approximately $239,000.
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Sonic 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.
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