Oppenheimer Comments on Sonic Co.’s Q1 2018 Earnings (SONC)

Sonic Co. (NASDAQ:SONC) – Equities researchers at Oppenheimer lifted their Q1 2018 earnings per share estimates for shares of Sonic in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. Oppenheimer analyst B. Bittner now anticipates that the restaurant operator will post earnings per share of $0.26 for the quarter, up from their previous estimate of $0.25. Oppenheimer currently has a “Market Perform” rating and a $29.00 price target on the stock. Oppenheimer also issued estimates for Sonic’s Q2 2018 earnings at $0.18 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $0.52 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $0.55 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $1.68 EPS.

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 business had revenue of $105.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $106.86 million. Sonic had a net margin of 13.34% and a negative return on equity of 33.92%. Sonic’s revenue was down 18.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.24 earnings per share.

SONC has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $31.00 target price (up previously from $29.00) on shares of Sonic in a research report on Thursday, December 28th. UBS Group cut shares of Sonic from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday. Telsey Advisory Group lifted their price objective on shares of Sonic from $27.00 to $31.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Sonic from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, December 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.54.

Shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) traded down $0.10 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $27.57. 1,602,700 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,210,467. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.19, a current ratio of 1.52 and a quick ratio of 1.48. Sonic has a 52 week low of $22.11 and a 52 week high of $30.05. The company has a market capitalization of $1,080.63, a P/E ratio of 18.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 1.74.

Sonic declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to buyback $160.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to reacquire up to 14.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.59, for a total value of $1,279,500.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,187,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,392,193.81. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,347 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.43, for a total transaction of $59,684.21. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 167,587 shares of company stock worth $4,537,647. Insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Sonic by 1.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,596,500 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $95,272,000 after purchasing an additional 43,146 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its holdings in Sonic by 0.8% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,962,894 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $49,955,000 after acquiring an additional 15,963 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its position in Sonic by 25.4% during the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,462,539 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $37,222,000 after buying an additional 296,665 shares during the period. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP lifted its position in Sonic by 5.2% during the third quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 1,110,995 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $28,275,000 after buying an additional 54,605 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp lifted its position in Sonic by 2.0% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,083,561 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $28,707,000 after buying an additional 21,420 shares during the period.

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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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC)

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