Sonic Co. (SONC) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Brokerages

Shares of Sonic Co. (NASDAQ:SONC) have been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the fourteen analysts that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, nine have assigned a hold recommendation and three have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $27.77.

Several analysts have recently commented on SONC shares. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price target on shares of Sonic in a research note on Friday, February 24th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Sonic from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 8th. Cowen and Company cut shares of Sonic from an “outperform” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $26.00 to $24.00 in a research note on Monday, March 20th. Barclays PLC decreased their price target on shares of Sonic from $26.00 to $24.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective on shares of Sonic in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th.

In other Sonic news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.15, for a total value of $1,407,500.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,202,310 shares in the company, valued at $33,845,026.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.39, for a total transaction of $70,975.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of SONC. Comerica Bank raised its stake in Sonic by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 41,632 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,100,000 after buying an additional 1,105 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in Sonic during the fourth quarter valued at $1,669,000. RidgeWorth Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Sonic during the first quarter valued at $50,669,000. Quantum Capital Management purchased a new stake in Sonic during the fourth quarter valued at $219,000. Finally, Two Sigma Advisers LP raised its stake in Sonic by 1,261.4% in the third quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 247,047 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $6,468,000 after buying an additional 228,900 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 96.33% of the company’s stock.

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Shares of Sonic (NASDAQ SONC) traded down 1.42% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $29.06. The company had a trading volume of 406,669 shares. Sonic has a 12 month low of $21.12 and a 12 month high of $30.91. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $27.97 and its 200-day moving average price is $26.35. The company has a market capitalization of $1.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.09 and a beta of 1.49.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, March 28th. The restaurant operator reported $0.15 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $100.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $104.32 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.18 earnings per share. Sonic’s revenue for the quarter was down 24.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Sonic will post $1.25 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 19th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 10th were issued a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, May 8th. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.93%. Sonic’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 41.79%.

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.

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