BidaskClub upgraded shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Barclays increased their target price on shares of Sonic from $27.00 to $28.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sonic from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $31.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Cowen reiterated a hold rating and issued a $29.00 target price on shares of Sonic in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a hold rating and issued a $30.00 price target on shares of Sonic in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Finally, Oppenheimer reissued a hold rating on shares of Sonic in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $29.64.

Shares of Sonic (SONC) opened at $24.37 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87, a current ratio of 1.81 and a quick ratio of 1.81. Sonic has a one year low of $22.11 and a one year high of $30.05. The firm has a market cap of $937.22, a PE ratio of 16.47, a P/E/G ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 1.59.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.30 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.05. Sonic had a net margin of 13.68% and a negative return on equity of 28.95%. The business had revenue of $105.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $106.86 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.24 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 18.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that Sonic will post 1.53 EPS for the current year.

Sonic declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, October 26th that allows the company to repurchase $160.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the restaurant operator to buy up to 14.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 16th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 7th will be given a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 6th. Sonic’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.24%.

In other news, Director Federico F. Pena sold 9,209 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.22, for a total transaction of $232,250.98. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Federico F. Pena sold 4,575 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.99, for a total transaction of $118,904.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 121,001 shares of company stock valued at $3,347,794 in the last three months. Company insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SONC. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Sonic by 6.6% during the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 204,401 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $5,415,000 after buying an additional 12,643 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in shares of Sonic by 28.7% during the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 79,892 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,116,000 after buying an additional 17,822 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Sonic by 6,244.2% during the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 10,912 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $289,000 after buying an additional 10,740 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Sonic by 1.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,596,500 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $95,272,000 after buying an additional 43,146 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in shares of Sonic by 2.0% during the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 111,900 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $2,964,000 after buying an additional 2,200 shares in the last quarter.

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Sonic 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 (NASDAQ:SONC)

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