Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sonic Drive-In (NASDAQ:SONC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Saturday.
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 analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Barclays cut their price target on shares of Sonic Drive-In from $28.00 to $25.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, March 28th. Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating and issued a $31.00 price target (up previously from $29.00) on shares of Sonic Drive-In in a report on Thursday, December 28th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Sonic Drive-In from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, March 20th. Oppenheimer cut shares of Sonic Drive-In from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $29.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Cowen dropped their target price on shares of Sonic Drive-In from $29.00 to $28.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, March 28th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $28.67.
NASDAQ:SONC opened at $26.31 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $974.57, a P/E ratio of 21.05, a P/E/G ratio of 1.22 and a beta of 1.47. Sonic Drive-In has a twelve month low of $22.11 and a twelve month high of $30.05. The company has a current ratio of 2.51, a quick ratio of 2.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.85.
Sonic Drive-In (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, March 27th. The restaurant operator reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.15 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $88.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $94.34 million. Sonic Drive-In had a net margin of 16.01% and a negative return on equity of 25.75%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.15 earnings per share. analysts predict that Sonic Drive-In will post 1.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 18th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.43%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 8th. Sonic Drive-In’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 51.20%.
In related news, Director Federico F. Pena sold 4,575 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.99, for a total value of $118,904.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Federico F. Pena sold 9,686 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.61, for a total transaction of $238,372.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 8.28% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Sonic Drive-In by 1.7% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,171,678 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $142,119,000 after purchasing an additional 86,842 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in Sonic Drive-In by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,962,894 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $49,955,000 after purchasing an additional 15,963 shares in the last quarter. Fenimore Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Sonic Drive-In by 0.6% in the 4th quarter. Fenimore Asset Management Inc. now owns 861,167 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $23,665,000 after purchasing an additional 5,327 shares in the last quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C boosted its stake in Sonic Drive-In by 168.4% in the 4th quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 810,109 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $22,262,000 after purchasing an additional 508,282 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Millennium Management LLC raised its position in Sonic Drive-In by 240.0% in the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 631,237 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $17,346,000 after buying an additional 445,606 shares during the last quarter.
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About Sonic Drive-In
Sonic Corp. operates and franchises a chain of quick-service drive-in restaurants in the United States. As of August 31, 2017, the company operated 3,593 Sonic Drive-Ins in 45 states, of which 228 were owned and operated by the company and 3,365 were owned and operated by franchisees. The company also owns and leases 135 properties; and sublease 53 properties to franchisees and other parties.
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