Brokerages expect Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) to post $0.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Five analysts have provided estimates for Sonic Corp.’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $0.23 and the highest is $0.28. Sonic Corp. reported earnings of $0.24 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 8.3%. The business is scheduled to announce its next earnings results on Wednesday, January 3rd.
On average, analysts expect that Sonic Corp. will report full-year earnings of $1.34 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.29 to $1.37. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the company will report earnings of $1.52 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.49 to $1.54. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for Sonic Corp..
Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $123.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $126.01 million. Sonic Corp. had a net margin of 13.34% and a negative return on equity of 33.92%. Sonic Corp.’s revenue for the quarter was down 23.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.45 EPS.
Several research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Citigroup Inc. assumed coverage on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research note on Monday, September 18th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $28.00 price objective on the stock. Cowen and Company reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sonic Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Sonic Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $27.73.
In related news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.59, for a total transaction of $1,279,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,392,193.81. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Federico F. Pena sold 1,161 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.20, for a total transaction of $29,257.20. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $29,929,006.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.24% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Aperio Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic Corp. by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 8,348 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $221,000 after buying an additional 119 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic Corp. by 8.1% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 18,464 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $489,000 after buying an additional 1,380 shares during the period. Cobiz Wealth LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic Corp. by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Cobiz Wealth LLC now owns 57,230 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,516,000 after buying an additional 1,447 shares during the period. Denver Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic Corp. by 8.9% during the 2nd quarter. Denver Investment Advisors LLC now owns 17,880 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $474,000 after buying an additional 1,465 shares during the period. Finally, Great West Life Assurance Co. Can boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic Corp. by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 63,326 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,676,000 after buying an additional 1,476 shares during the period.
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Shares of Sonic Corp. (SONC) traded up 0.35% during trading on Friday, hitting $25.77. 986,581 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $24.71 and its 200 day moving average is $25.85. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.06 billion, a PE ratio of 17.77 and a beta of 1.76. Sonic Corp. has a 1-year low of $22.11 and a 1-year high of $30.05.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 17th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 8th will be given a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.48%. This is an increase from Sonic Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 7th. Sonic Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 38.10%.
Sonic Corp. announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, August 9th that permits the company to buyback $160.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 16.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
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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