BidaskClub upgraded shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Saturday.

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on SONC. Bank of America reissued a buy rating and issued a $30.00 price target on shares of Sonic in a report on Monday, August 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Sonic from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $26.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, September 13th. Canaccord Genuity upped their price objective on shares of Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $29.00 price objective on shares of Sonic in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, Cowen reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of Sonic in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Two equities 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 has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $27.73.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) opened at $27.33 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.48, a current ratio of 1.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.19. The firm has a market cap of $1,016.32, a PE ratio of 19.88, a P/E/G ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 1.74. Sonic has a fifty-two week low of $22.11 and a fifty-two week high of $30.05.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last issued its quarterly 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 the consensus estimate of $126.01 million. Sonic had a net margin of 13.34% and a negative return on equity of 33.92%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 23.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.45 EPS. analysts predict that Sonic will post 1.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 17th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 8th were issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 7th. This is an increase from Sonic’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.34%. Sonic’s dividend payout ratio is 43.54%.

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

In other news, 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 transaction of $29,257.20. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,187,659 shares in the company, valued at $29,929,006.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.59, for a total value of $1,279,500.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,187,659 shares in the company, valued at $30,392,193.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 63,917 shares of company stock worth $1,633,116. Insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Sonic by 1.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,596,500 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $95,272,000 after buying an additional 43,146 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Sonic by 0.8% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,962,894 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $49,955,000 after buying an additional 15,963 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of Sonic by 25.4% during the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,462,539 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $37,222,000 after buying an additional 296,665 shares during the period. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP increased its position in shares of Sonic by 5.2% during the third quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 1,110,995 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $28,275,000 after buying an additional 54,605 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Sonic by 2.0% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,083,561 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $28,707,000 after buying an additional 21,420 shares during the period.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC)

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