Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) has earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the seventeen brokerages that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $27.58.

Several research analysts recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Sonic Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Bank of America Corporation cut Sonic Corp. from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $27.00 to $30.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. BidaskClub cut Sonic Corp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Wells Fargo & Company assumed coverage on Sonic Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $30.00 target price for the company. Finally, Stephens reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $32.00 target price on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Monday, June 26th.

Shares of Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) traded down 2.10% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $23.27. 160,354 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $24.79 and a 200 day moving average price of $26.05. The firm has a market cap of $972.90 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.51 and a beta of 1.74. Sonic Corp. has a 52-week low of $21.12 and a 52-week high of $30.05.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.43 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $124 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $122.58 million. Sonic Corp. had a negative return on equity of 44.21% and a net margin of 13.23%. Sonic Corp.’s quarterly revenue was down 24.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.43 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Sonic Corp. will post $1.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Sonic Corp. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, August 9th that allows the company to repurchase $160.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the restaurant operator to purchase up to 16.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 18th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 9th were paid a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 7th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.36%. Sonic Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.33%.

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In other Sonic Corp. news, Director Steven A. Davis bought 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 21st. The stock was bought at an average cost of $24.62 per share, for a total transaction of $49,240.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. RidgeWorth Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Sonic Corp. during the first quarter worth $50,669,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 121,423.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,323,947 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $135,015,000 after buying an additional 5,319,566 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 310.9% in the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 866,118 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $21,965,000 after buying an additional 655,352 shares during the period. Invictus RG raised its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 1,553.2% in the first quarter. Invictus RG now owns 9,539 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $242,000 after buying an additional 8,962 shares during the period. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 25.7% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 121,742 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,227,000 after buying an additional 24,896 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 97.48% of the company’s stock.

About Sonic Corp.

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 Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC)

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