Sonic’s (SONC) Neutral Rating Reaffirmed at UBS Group
UBS Group reiterated their neutral rating on shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, 99wallstreet.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $28.00 price target on the restaurant operator’s stock, up from their prior price target of $26.00.
Several other equities analysts have also commented on SONC. Zacks Investment Research raised Sonic from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $26.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, September 13th. Citigroup initiated coverage on Sonic in a report on Monday, September 18th. They set a buy rating and a $28.00 target price for the company. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $29.00 target price on shares of Sonic in a report on Friday, October 6th. Cowen reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of Sonic in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity upped their target price on Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Sonic presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $29.14.
Sonic (NASDAQ SONC) traded down $0.77 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $27.26. The stock had a trading volume of 1,708,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,958,680. The company has a market capitalization of $1,080.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.67, a PEG ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 1.73. Sonic has a 52 week low of $22.11 and a 52 week high of $30.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87, a current ratio of 1.81 and a quick ratio of 1.48.
Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, beating 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 negative return on equity of 28.95% and a net margin of 13.68%. The business’s revenue was down 18.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.24 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Sonic will post 1.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Sonic declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, October 26th that allows the company to repurchase $160.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 14.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.59, for a total value of $1,279,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,392,193.81. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 3,670 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 18th. The stock was 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $29,950,528.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 167,587 shares of company stock valued at $4,537,647 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 8.28% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SONC. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Sonic by 77.7% in the second 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 during the period. Flinton Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Sonic by 74.5% in the second quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,290 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $167,000 after purchasing an additional 2,686 shares during the period. Bayesian Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in Sonic in the second quarter worth approximately $228,000. Wolverine Trading LLC lifted its position in Sonic by 382.4% in the third quarter. Wolverine Trading LLC now owns 9,110 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $232,000 after purchasing an additional 12,336 shares during the period. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in Sonic in the third quarter worth approximately $239,000.
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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