Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $31.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target indicates a potential upside of 16.67% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Sonic Corp. operates and franchises one of the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in the United States. Sonic restaurants offer made-to-order hamburgers and other sandwiches and feature Sonic signature items, such as footlong coney cheese dogs, hand-battered onion rings, tater tots, specialty soft drinks, including cherry limeades and slushes, and frozen desserts. At a typical Sonic restaurant, a customer drives into one of 24 to 36 covered drive-in spaces, orders through an intercom, and has the food delivered by a carhop within an average of four minutes. “

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on SONC. Barclays PLC decreased their price target on shares of Sonic Corp. from $30.00 to $25.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 28th. Jefferies Group decreased their price target on shares of Sonic Corp. from $30.00 to $28.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 28th. Vetr downgraded shares of Sonic Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $26.50 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, December 26th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective on shares of Sonic Corp. in a report on Tuesday, December 13th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Sonic Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 14th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.19.

Analyst Recommendations for Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC)

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) traded down 1.24% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $26.25. 90,988 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $27.15 and its 200-day moving average is $26.87. The company has a market cap of $1.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.63 and a beta of 1.46. Sonic Corp. has a one year low of $21.12 and a one year high of $36.34.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 4th. The company reported $0.24 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.21 by $0.03. Sonic Corp. had a net margin of 10.97% and a negative return on equity of 88.45%. The business earned $129.60 million during the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.24 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Sonic Corp. will post $1.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 4,685 shares of Sonic Corp. stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.57, for a total transaction of $129,165.45. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,290,728 shares in the company, valued at $35,585,370.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Harold A. Ceron sold 3,112 shares of Sonic Corp. stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.02, for a total transaction of $84,086.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.24% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of SONC. Capital Fund Management S.A. boosted its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 234.8% in the second quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. now owns 402,291 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,882,000 after buying an additional 282,116 shares in the last quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 5.7% in the third quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. now owns 720,602 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,865,000 after buying an additional 39,039 shares in the last quarter. HL Financial Services LLC boosted its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 10.2% in the second quarter. HL Financial Services LLC now owns 85,249 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,306,000 after buying an additional 7,924 shares in the last quarter. Pembroke Management LTD bought a new stake in shares of Sonic Corp. during the third quarter worth $10,697,000. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its stake in shares of Sonic Corp. by 300.3% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 21,356 shares of the company’s stock worth $578,000 after buying an additional 16,021 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 96.33% of the company’s stock.

About Sonic Corp.

Sonic Corp. operates and franchises a chain of drive-in restaurants in the United States. The Company has around 3,512 Sonic Drive-Ins in 44 states of the United States. The Company’s product categories include Burgers, Coneys and Hot Dogs, Chicken, Breakfast, Snacks and Sides, Drinks, Ice Cream, and Wacky Pack.

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