BidaskClub cut shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday.
Other research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sonic from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $41.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 19th. Citigroup increased their price target on shares of Sonic from $32.00 to $41.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, July 12th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Sonic from $34.00 to $43.50 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday, September 27th. Stephens lowered shares of Sonic from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and increased their price target for the stock from $40.00 to $43.50 in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. Finally, Barclays upgraded shares of Sonic from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. Fourteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Sonic presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $36.08.
Shares of Sonic stock opened at $43.43 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.55 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 1.32. Sonic has a 1 year low of $23.22 and a 1 year high of $44.87.
Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $111.80 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $113.22 million. Sonic had a net margin of 16.81% and a negative return on equity of 21.64%. Sonic’s quarterly revenue was down 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.45 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Sonic will post 1.64 earnings per share for the current year.
Sonic announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, July 12th that permits the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to purchase up to 39.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.31, for a total transaction of $108,275.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider John H. Budd III sold 89,176 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.24, for a total transaction of $3,855,970.24. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 32,065 shares in the company, valued at $1,386,490.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 8.28% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Sonic by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,064,680 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $174,326,000 after purchasing an additional 30,553 shares during the last quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. now owns 883,139 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $30,398,000 after acquiring an additional 7,464 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic by 10.0% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 312,839 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $10,768,000 after acquiring an additional 28,564 shares during the last quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Sonic during the 2nd quarter valued at about $10,600,000. Finally, Gabelli Funds LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Sonic during the 3rd quarter valued at about $8,365,000.
Sonic Corp. operates and franchises a chain of quick-service drive-in restaurants in the United States. As of August 31, 2017, the company operated 3,593 Sonic Drive-Ins in 45 states, of which 228 were owned and operated by the company and 3,365 were owned and operated by franchisees. The company also owns and leases 135 properties; and sublease 53 properties to franchisees and other parties.
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