Brokerages forecast that Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) will report $106.72 million in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Five analysts have provided estimates for Sonic Corp.’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $107.20 million and the lowest estimate coming in at $106.00 million. Sonic Corp. reported sales of $129.55 million during the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year-over-year growth rate of 17.6%. The firm is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Wednesday, January 3rd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Sonic Corp. will report full year sales of $106.72 million for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $441.15 million to $458.80 million. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the company will post sales of $461.62 million per share, with estimates ranging from $440.36 million to $479.60 million. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that cover Sonic Corp..

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its earnings results on Monday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $123.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $126.01 million. Sonic Corp. 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% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.45 earnings per share.

A number of research firms recently commented on SONC. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $29.00 price objective on shares of Sonic Corp. in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Canaccord Genuity upped their price objective on Sonic Corp. from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Cowen and Company reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Sonic Corp. in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. began coverage on Sonic Corp. in a report on Monday, September 18th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $28.00 price objective for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.73.

In other news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.59, for a total transaction of $1,279,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,392,193.81. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Federico F. Pena sold 1,161 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.20, for a total value of $29,257.20. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $29,929,006.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.24% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can boosted its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 2.4% during the second quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 63,326 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,676,000 after buying an additional 1,476 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 28.7% during the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 79,892 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,116,000 after buying an additional 17,822 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 27.0% during the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 67,409 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,786,000 after buying an additional 14,315 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 121,423.6% during 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. Finally, Cipher Capital LP boosted its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 885.3% during the second quarter. Cipher Capital LP now owns 143,969 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,814,000 after buying an additional 129,357 shares during the period.

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Sonic Corp. (SONC) traded up $0.19 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $24.76. The stock had a trading volume of 481,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 946,603. The company has a market capitalization of $996.60, a P/E ratio of 19.50, a P/E/G ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 1.75. Sonic Corp. has a 12 month low of $22.11 and a 12 month high of $30.05. The company has a current ratio of 1.52, a quick ratio of 1.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.19.

Sonic Corp. declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase 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 shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 17th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 8th were paid a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.58%. This is a boost from Sonic Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 7th. Sonic Corp.’s payout ratio is presently 43.54%.

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.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC)

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