Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) – Equities researchers at William Blair decreased their Q2 2018 earnings per share estimates for shares of Sonic in a report released on Wednesday. William Blair analyst S. Zackfia now expects that the restaurant operator will earn $0.19 per share for the quarter, down from their previous forecast of $0.20. William Blair also issued estimates for Sonic’s Q3 2018 earnings at $0.44 EPS.
A number of other research firms have also weighed in on SONC. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, September 13th. Canaccord Genuity lifted their price objective on shares of Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 price objective on shares of Sonic in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. BidaskClub raised shares of Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, December 2nd. Finally, Cowen reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Sonic in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.73.
Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last posted its earnings results on Monday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.02. Sonic had a net margin of 13.34% and a negative return on equity of 33.92%. The firm had revenue of $123.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $126.01 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.45 earnings per share. Sonic’s revenue for the quarter was down 23.8% compared to the same quarter last year.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SONC. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Sonic by 77.7% in the second 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. Flinton Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Sonic by 74.5% in the second quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,290 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $167,000 after acquiring an additional 2,686 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Sonic by 1.4% in the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 8,348 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $221,000 after acquiring an additional 119 shares in the last quarter. Bayesian Capital Management LP bought a new stake in shares of Sonic in the second quarter valued at about $228,000. Finally, Wolverine Trading LLC raised its holdings in shares of Sonic by 382.4% in the third quarter. Wolverine Trading LLC now owns 9,110 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $232,000 after acquiring an additional 12,336 shares in the last quarter.
In other news, Director Federico F. Pena sold 1,161 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.20, for a total transaction of $29,257.20. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $29,929,006.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,347 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.43, for a total transaction of $59,684.21. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 167,587 shares of company stock valued at $4,537,647 over the last ninety days. 8.28% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Sonic announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to repurchase $160.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 14.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors 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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