Sonic Co. (NASDAQ:SONC) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the fifteen ratings firms that are covering the firm, MarketBeat.com reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $29.69.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on SONC shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $31.00 price objective (up from $29.00) on shares of Sonic in a report on Thursday, December 28th. Oppenheimer cut Sonic from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $29.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Thursday, January 4th. BidaskClub cut Sonic from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, January 13th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity lifted their price objective on Sonic from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th.

Shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) traded down $0.42 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $24.08. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 407,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 975,858. The firm has a market cap of $942.22, a PE ratio of 16.27, a PEG ratio of 1.09 and a beta of 1.59. 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 52-week low of $22.11 and a 52-week high of $30.05.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last announced its quarterly earnings data 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. The firm had revenue of $105.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $106.86 million. Sonic had a negative return on equity of 28.95% and a net margin of 13.68%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 18.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.24 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Sonic will post 1.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

The firm also recently declared 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 6th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.66%. Sonic’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 43.24%.

In other news, Director Federico F. Pena sold 9,686 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.61, for a total transaction of $238,372.46. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Federico F. Pena sold 4,575 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.99, for a total value of $118,904.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 130,687 shares of company stock valued at $3,586,167 in the last three months. 8.28% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Sonic by 1.7% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,171,678 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $142,119,000 after acquiring an additional 86,842 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Sonic by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,596,500 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $95,272,000 after acquiring an additional 43,146 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in Sonic by 0.8% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,962,894 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $49,955,000 after acquiring an additional 15,963 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its position in Sonic by 25.4% during the 3rd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,462,539 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $37,222,000 after acquiring an additional 296,665 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Westfield Capital Management Co. LP grew its position in Sonic by 5.2% during the 3rd quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 1,110,995 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $28,275,000 after acquiring an additional 54,605 shares during the last quarter.

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About Sonic

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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