Sonic Co. (NASDAQ:SONC) – Stock analysts at William Blair dropped their Q2 2018 EPS estimates for Sonic in a note issued to investors on Friday. William Blair analyst S. Zackfia now forecasts that the restaurant operator will earn $0.17 per share for the quarter, down from their prior estimate of $0.19. William Blair also issued estimates for Sonic’s Q3 2018 earnings at $0.51 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $0.57 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $1.53 EPS.

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Oppenheimer reissued a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 price target on shares of Sonic in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. 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 research report on Wednesday, September 13th. Citigroup initiated coverage on shares of Sonic in a research report on Monday, September 18th. They set a “buy” rating and a $28.00 price target on the stock. Guggenheim reissued a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price target (up previously from $29.00) on shares of Sonic in a research report on Thursday, December 28th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity increased their price target on shares of Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.86.

Shares of Sonic (NASDAQ SONC) opened at $28.03 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $1,094.68, a PE ratio of 18.94, a PEG ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 1.74. Sonic has a 1 year low of $22.11 and a 1 year high of $30.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.19, a quick ratio of 1.48 and a current ratio of 1.52.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $105.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $106.86 million. Sonic had a net margin of 13.68% and a negative return on equity of 31.39%. Sonic’s revenue was down 18.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.24 earnings per share.

Sonic announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to repurchase $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 14.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $30,392,193.81. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Federico F. Pena sold 1,161 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 in the company, valued at approximately $29,929,006.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 167,587 shares of company stock worth $4,537,647. 6.24% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its holdings in Sonic by 28.7% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 79,892 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,116,000 after acquiring an additional 17,822 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its holdings in Sonic by 27.0% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 67,409 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,786,000 after acquiring an additional 14,315 shares in the last quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C acquired a new stake in Sonic in the third quarter valued at approximately $7,681,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its holdings in Sonic by 37.9% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 21,140 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $560,000 after acquiring an additional 5,813 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC raised its holdings in Sonic by 117.1% in the third quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 11,418 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $291,000 after acquiring an additional 6,159 shares in the last quarter.

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About Sonic

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC)

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