Sonic (SONC) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Sonic Corp., America’s Drive-in has built a dominant position in the drive-in restaurant business. They did it by sticking to what made drive-ins so popular in the first place: made-to-order American classics, signature menu items, speedy service from friendly Carhops and heaping helpings of fun and personality. Today, Sonic is the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in America. As a business, they continue to thrive, maintaining strong real sales growth, industry-leading customer frequency and high returns for their stockholders. So take a cruise through their website to learn more about our company and the people who help make it an American success story. “

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating and issued a $31.00 price objective (up previously from $29.00) on shares of Sonic in a research note on Thursday, December 28th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Sonic from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, December 2nd. Cowen reiterated a hold rating and issued a $29.00 price objective on shares of Sonic in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a hold rating and issued a $30.00 price objective on shares of Sonic in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Finally, Oppenheimer reiterated a hold rating on shares of Sonic in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Sonic has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $29.21.

Sonic stock opened at $24.52 on Thursday. Sonic has a one year low of $22.11 and a one year high of $30.05. The company has a quick ratio of 1.81, a current ratio of 1.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87. The firm has a market cap of $942.99, a P/E ratio of 16.57, a PEG ratio of 1.09 and a beta of 1.55.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping 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 firm had revenue of $105.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $106.86 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.24 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 18.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Sonic will post 1.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Federico F. Pena sold 9,686 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.61, for a total value of $238,372.46. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Federico F. Pena sold 4,575 shares of the 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. Corporate insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Glenmede Trust Co. NA increased its holdings in Sonic by 97.2% in the 4th quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 4,634 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $126,000 after acquiring an additional 2,284 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC purchased a new stake in Sonic during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Elkfork Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Sonic during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $209,000. Wolverine Trading LLC grew its holdings in Sonic by 382.4% during the 3rd quarter. Wolverine Trading LLC now owns 9,110 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $232,000 after buying an additional 12,336 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in Sonic during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $239,000.

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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.

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