Sonic Corp. (SONC) Given Buy Rating at Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc.

Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued their buy rating on shares of Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, October 17th. The firm currently has a $29.00 price target on the restaurant operator’s stock. Oppenheimer Holdings also issued estimates for Sonic Corp.’s Q1 2018 earnings at $0.25 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $0.15 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $0.46 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $0.49 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $1.32 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $1.49 EPS.

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sonic Corp. from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $26.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 13th. Bank of America Corporation restated an underperform rating and set a $28.00 target price (down previously from $30.00) on shares of Sonic Corp. in a report on Sunday, June 25th. Stephens restated an overweight rating and set a $32.00 target price on shares of Sonic Corp. in a report on Monday, June 26th. Citigroup Inc. assumed coverage on Sonic Corp. in a report on Monday, September 18th. They issued a buy rating and a $28.00 price target on the stock. Finally, BidaskClub cut Sonic Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, June 24th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Sonic Corp. has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $27.73.

Shares of Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ SONC) traded down $0.20 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $24.75. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 281,819 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,044,036. Sonic Corp. has a 52-week low of $22.11 and a 52-week high of $30.05. The company has a quick ratio of 1.48, a current ratio of 1.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.19. The company has a market capitalization of $1,004.25, a PE ratio of 19.65, a P/E/G ratio of 1.27 and a beta of 1.75.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $123.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $126.01 million. Sonic Corp. had a negative return on equity of 33.92% and a net margin of 13.34%. Sonic Corp.’s revenue for the quarter was down 23.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.45 earnings per share. analysts expect that Sonic Corp. will post 1.34 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 17th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 8th will be given a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 7th. This is a positive change from Sonic Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. Sonic Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 38.10%.

Sonic Corp. declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Wednesday, August 9th that authorizes the company to buyback $160.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 16.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Sonic Corp. news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the director now 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Federico F. Pena sold 1,161 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.20, for a total value of $29,257.20. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,187,659 shares in the company, valued at approximately $29,929,006.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.24% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SONC. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Sonic Corp. by 77.7% in the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 4,797 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $127,000 after acquiring an additional 2,097 shares in the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Sonic Corp. by 74.5% in the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,290 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $167,000 after acquiring an additional 2,686 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp acquired a new position in shares of Sonic Corp. during the 1st quarter worth $209,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its holdings in shares of Sonic Corp. by 72.7% during the 2nd quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 8,378 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $221,000 after buying an additional 3,528 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Aperio Group LLC raised 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 in the last quarter.

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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