UBS Group lowered shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report released on Thursday, The Fly reports.

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on SONC. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Sonic from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $26.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 13th. Citigroup started coverage on shares of Sonic in a research note on Monday, September 18th. They issued a buy rating and a $28.00 price target for the company. Oppenheimer reissued a buy rating and issued a $29.00 price target on shares of Sonic in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Guggenheim reissued a buy rating and issued a $31.00 price target (up previously from $29.00) on shares of Sonic in a research note on Thursday, December 28th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity boosted their price target on shares of Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. One research 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 a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $28.86.

Shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) traded down $0.77 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $27.26. 1,708,418 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,958,600. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,094.69, a PE ratio of 18.42, a P/E/G ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 1.74. Sonic has a 12 month low of $22.11 and a 12 month high of $30.05. The company has a current ratio of 1.81, a quick ratio of 1.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $105.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $106.86 million. Sonic had a net margin of 13.68% and a negative return on equity of 28.95%. Sonic’s revenue for the quarter was down 18.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.24 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Sonic will post 1.39 earnings per share for the current year.

Sonic announced that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to buyback $160.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 14.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Sonic news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 3,670 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.21, for a total value of $103,530.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,061,699 shares in the company, valued at approximately $29,950,528.79. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.59, for a total transaction of $1,279,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,392,193.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 167,587 shares of company stock valued at $4,537,647 over the last quarter. 8.28% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its holdings in Sonic by 28.7% in the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 79,892 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,116,000 after purchasing an additional 17,822 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its stake in shares of Sonic by 27.0% in the 2nd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 67,409 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,786,000 after acquiring an additional 14,315 shares in the last quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C bought a new position in shares of Sonic in the 3rd quarter worth about $7,681,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in shares of Sonic by 37.9% in the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 21,140 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $560,000 after acquiring an additional 5,813 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC increased its stake in shares of Sonic by 117.1% in the 3rd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 11,418 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $291,000 after acquiring an additional 6,159 shares in the last quarter.

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Sonic 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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC)

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