Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) – Investment analysts at Jefferies Group reduced their Q1 2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Sonic in a research note issued on Friday. Jefferies Group analyst A. Slagle now anticipates that the restaurant operator will post earnings of $0.25 per share for the quarter, down from their prior forecast of $0.26. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Sonic’s FY2018 earnings at $1.34 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $1.53 EPS.
A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on SONC. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, September 13th. Canaccord Genuity increased their target price on Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Oppenheimer reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 target price on shares of Sonic in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. BidaskClub upgraded Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, December 2nd. Finally, Cowen reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Sonic in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Sonic presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.73.
Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last announced its earnings results on Monday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $123.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $126.01 million. Sonic had a negative return on equity of 33.92% and a net margin of 13.34%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 23.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.45 earnings per share.
Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Aperio Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 8,348 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $221,000 after purchasing an additional 119 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic by 8.1% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 18,464 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $489,000 after acquiring an additional 1,380 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 63,326 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,676,000 after acquiring an additional 1,476 shares in the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic by 77.7% during the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 4,797 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $127,000 after acquiring an additional 2,097 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic by 2.0% during 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 acquiring an additional 2,200 shares in the last quarter.
In other Sonic news, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,347 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.43, for a total value of $59,684.21. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.40, for a total value of $1,420,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 167,587 shares of company stock worth $4,537,647. Corporate insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.
Sonic announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to buyback $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 14.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
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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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