Sonic Co. (NASDAQ:SONC) – Research analysts at Oppenheimer raised their FY2018 earnings per share estimates for Sonic in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, September 12th, Zacks Investment Research reports. Oppenheimer analyst B. Bittner now forecasts that the restaurant operator will post earnings per share of $1.49 for the year, up from their prior estimate of $1.47.
SONC has been the subject of a number of other reports. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Sonic from $26.00 to $31.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, June 28th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Sonic from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 3rd. Citigroup raised their price target on Sonic from $32.00 to $41.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 12th. Wedbush initiated coverage on Sonic in a research note on Thursday, September 6th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $42.00 price target for the company. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Sonic from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 16th. Fourteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $35.88.
Shares of NASDAQ:SONC traded up $0.02 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $43.31. 1,049,890 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 953,921. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.62, a quick ratio of 1.78 and a current ratio of 1.78. The company has a market cap of $1.54 billion, a PE ratio of 34.65, a PEG ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 1.47. Sonic has a one year low of $23.22 and a one year high of $44.87.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SONC. UBS Group AG boosted its stake in shares of Sonic by 1,995.5% during the 1st quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 509,946 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $12,866,000 after acquiring an additional 485,611 shares during the period. WINTON GROUP Ltd bought a new position in shares of Sonic during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $10,600,000. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Sonic by 21.9% during the 1st quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 1,118,894 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $28,230,000 after acquiring an additional 201,195 shares during the period. Susquehanna Fundamental Investments LLC bought a new position in shares of Sonic during the 1st quarter worth approximately $1,735,000. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in shares of Sonic by 12.8% during the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 552,331 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $13,935,000 after acquiring an additional 62,642 shares during the period.
In other news, VP E Edward Saroch sold 21,896 shares of Sonic stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.46, for a total transaction of $798,328.16. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,500 shares of Sonic stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.31, for a total value of $108,275.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 115,696 shares of company stock valued at $4,839,037. Corporate insiders own 8.28% of the company’s stock.
Sonic announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, July 12th that permits the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to purchase up to 39.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
Sonic Company Profile
Sonic Corp. operates and franchises a chain of quick-service drive-in restaurants in the United States. As of August 31, 2017, the company operated 3,593 Sonic Drive-Ins in 45 states, of which 228 were owned and operated by the company and 3,365 were owned and operated by franchisees. The company also owns and leases 135 properties; and sublease 53 properties to franchisees and other parties.
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