Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) was the target of a significant decrease in short interest during the month of August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 9,634,030 shares, a decrease of 12.0% from the July 31st total of 10,950,839 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 879,562 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 11.0 days. Approximately 24.2% of the company’s shares are sold short.

In other Sonic Corp. news, Director Steven A. Davis acquired 2,000 shares of Sonic Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 21st. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $24.62 per share, with a total value of $49,240.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. 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 period. Geneva Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 6.8% in the first quarter. Geneva Advisors LLC now owns 40,392 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,024,000 after buying an additional 2,580 shares during the period. OLD National Bancorp IN acquired a new position in shares of Sonic Corp. during the first quarter worth $380,000. LSV Asset Management acquired a new position in shares of Sonic Corp. during the first quarter worth $218,000. Finally, Reinhart Partners Inc. increased its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 2.9% in the first quarter. Reinhart Partners Inc. now owns 70,930 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,799,000 after buying an additional 2,010 shares during the period. 97.48% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) opened at 23.41 on Friday. Sonic Corp. has a 12 month low of $21.12 and a 12 month high of $30.05. The firm has a market capitalization of $978.75 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.61 and a beta of 1.74. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $24.14 and a 200 day moving average price of $25.93.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.41 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $124 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $122.58 million. Sonic Corp. had a negative return on equity of 44.21% and a net margin of 13.23%. Sonic Corp.’s quarterly revenue was down 24.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.43 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Sonic Corp. will post $1.24 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 18th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 9th were given a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.39%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 7th. Sonic Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.33%.

Sonic Corp. declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Wednesday, August 9th that allows the company to buyback $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 16.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on SONC. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Sonic Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 24th. Bank of America Corporation reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $30.00 price objective on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research note on Monday, August 14th. BidaskClub downgraded Sonic Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 16th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Cowen and Company increased their price objective on Sonic Corp. from $23.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, June 23rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $27.75.

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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.

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