Citigroup Inc. initiated coverage on shares of Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) in a report released on Monday morning, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The firm issued a buy rating and a $28.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock.

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on SONC. Bank of America Corporation restated a buy rating and set a $30.00 price target on shares of Sonic Corp. in a report on Monday, August 14th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sonic Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, September 14th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Sonic Corp. from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Sunday, July 16th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a hold rating and set a $26.00 price target on shares of Sonic Corp. in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Cowen and Company lifted their price objective on shares of Sonic Corp. from $23.00 to $25.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Friday, June 23rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Sonic Corp. presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $27.46.

Sonic Corp. (SONC) opened at 24.59 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $1.03 billion, a PE ratio of 16.39 and a beta of 1.77. The company’s 50-day moving average is $23.68 and its 200-day moving average is $25.71. Sonic Corp. has a one year low of $21.12 and a one year high of $30.05.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.02. Sonic Corp. had a net margin of 13.23% and a negative return on equity of 44.21%. The firm had revenue of $124.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $122.58 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.43 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 24.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Sonic Corp. will post $1.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Sonic Corp. announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, August 9th that allows the company to repurchase $160.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 16.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Sonic Corp. news, Director Steven A. Davis purchased 2,000 shares of Sonic Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $23.00 per share, with a total value of $46,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. In the last three months, insiders purchased 5,000 shares of company stock valued at $117,730. 6.24% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SONC. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Sonic Corp. by 121,423.6% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,323,947 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $135,015,000 after purchasing an additional 5,319,566 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. acquired a new stake in Sonic Corp. in the 1st quarter valued at $28,891,000. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP acquired a new stake in Sonic Corp. in the 2nd quarter valued at $27,984,000. Morgan Stanley grew its position in Sonic Corp. by 310.9% in the 1st quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 866,118 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $21,965,000 after purchasing an additional 655,352 shares during the period. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its position in Sonic Corp. by 3,507.8% in the 2nd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 420,125 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $11,129,000 after purchasing an additional 408,480 shares during the period.

Sonic Corp. Company Profile

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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