UBS Group restated their neutral rating on shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) in a research report report published on Friday, January 5th, 99wallstreet.com reports. UBS Group currently has a $28.00 price objective on the restaurant operator’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $26.00.
Several other research firms also recently issued reports on SONC. Guggenheim reissued a buy rating and issued a $31.00 target price (up previously from $29.00) on shares of Sonic in a research note on Thursday, December 28th. Oppenheimer downgraded shares of Sonic from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $29.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Telsey Advisory Group reissued a market perform rating and issued a $31.00 target price (up previously from $27.00) on shares of Sonic in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Sonic from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Sonic from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, December 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $29.36.
Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) traded down $0.39 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $25.95. 426,098 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 981,164. Sonic has a 1 year low of $22.11 and a 1 year high of $30.05. The company has a current ratio of 1.81, a quick ratio of 1.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87. The stock has a market cap of $997.99, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 1.73.
Sonic announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to buyback $160.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to buy up to 14.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 16th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.47%. Sonic’s payout ratio is currently 43.84%.
In other Sonic news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 3,670 shares of the company’s 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 transaction, the director now directly owns 1,061,699 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $29,950,528.79. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,347 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.43, for a total value of $59,684.21. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 167,587 shares of company stock valued at $4,537,647. 8.28% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Riverhead Capital Management LLC grew its stake in 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 buying an additional 2,097 shares during the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Sonic by 74.5% during the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,290 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $167,000 after buying an additional 2,686 shares during the last quarter. Bayesian Capital Management LP bought a new position in Sonic during the 2nd quarter worth $228,000. Wolverine Trading LLC grew its stake in Sonic by 382.4% during the 3rd quarter. Wolverine Trading LLC now owns 9,110 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $232,000 after buying an additional 12,336 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Sonic during the 2nd quarter worth $244,000.
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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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