Pinebridge Investments L.P. cut its stake in Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) by 78.8% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 5,188 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 19,321 shares during the period. Pinebridge Investments L.P.’s holdings in Sonic were worth $132,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Riverhead Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Sonic by 77.7% during the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 4,797 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $127,000 after purchasing an additional 2,097 shares in the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Sonic by 74.5% during the second quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,290 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $167,000 after acquiring an additional 2,686 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC boosted its position in Sonic by 1.4% during the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 8,348 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $221,000 after acquiring an additional 119 shares during the last quarter. HL Financial Services LLC acquired a new stake in Sonic during the second quarter worth approximately $227,000. Finally, Bayesian Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in Sonic during the second quarter worth approximately $228,000.

In related news, Director Federico F. Pena sold 1,161 shares of Sonic stock in a transaction 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 sale, the director now owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $29,929,006.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of Sonic stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.62, for a total transaction of $1,381,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,149,890 shares in the company, valued at approximately $31,759,961.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 113,917 shares of company stock worth $3,014,116 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on SONC. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sonic from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, December 2nd. Oppenheimer reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $29.00 price target on shares of Sonic in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Canaccord Genuity lifted their price target on shares of Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, Cowen reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Sonic in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Sonic presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $27.73.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) opened at $27.94 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.52, a quick ratio of 1.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.19. The firm has a market cap of $1,122.58, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.96, a P/E/G ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 1.74. Sonic Corp. has a 1-year low of $22.11 and a 1-year high of $30.05.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last posted its earnings results on Monday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $123.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $126.01 million. Sonic had a net margin of 13.34% and a negative return on equity of 33.92%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 23.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.45 EPS. research analysts forecast that Sonic Corp. will post 1.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Sonic announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to buyback $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to buy up to 14.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 17th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 8th were issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. This is a positive change from Sonic’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 7th. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.29%. Sonic’s payout ratio is presently 43.54%.

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Sonic 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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC)

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