BidaskClub lowered shares of Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note released on Thursday morning.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Cowen and Company reduced their target price on Sonic Corp. from $24.00 to $23.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. Stephens reissued an overweight rating and set a $32.00 target price on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised Sonic Corp. from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, May 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a buy rating and set a $32.00 target price on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, Barclays PLC reduced their target price on Sonic Corp. from $26.00 to $24.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $27.61.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) traded up 0.25% during trading on Thursday, hitting $23.74. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 39,661 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $26.60 and a 200 day moving average of $26.27. Sonic Corp. has a 12 month low of $21.12 and a 12 month high of $30.05. The firm has a market cap of $992.55 million, a P/E ratio of 15.83 and a beta of 1.77.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.02. Sonic Corp. had a negative return on equity of 44.21% and a net margin of 13.23%. The firm had revenue of $124 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $122.58 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.43 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 24.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Sonic Corp. will post $1.24 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 18th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 9th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.36%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 7th. Sonic Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.33%.

In related news, Director Steven A. Davis bought 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 21st. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $24.62 per share, with a total value of $49,240.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.15, for a total value of $1,407,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,202,310 shares in the company, valued at $33,845,026.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,005,237 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $26,650,000 after buying an additional 6,707 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans increased its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 24,712 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $655,000 after buying an additional 390 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Sonic Corp. during the fourth quarter worth about $30,952,000. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 25.7% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 121,742 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,227,000 after buying an additional 24,896 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fenimore Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Sonic Corp. during the first quarter worth about $18,085,000. 97.48% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC)

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