Stock Traders Purchase Large Volume of Sonic Drive-In Call Options (SONC)


Sonic Drive-In (NASDAQ:SONC) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors purchased 656 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,162% compared to the typical daily volume of 52 call options.

Several analysts recently issued reports on SONC shares. Telsey Advisory Group restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $28.00 price objective (down from $31.00) on shares of Sonic Drive-In in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sonic Drive-In from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Wells Fargo & Co reduced their price objective on shares of Sonic Drive-In from $30.00 to $27.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, March 19th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Sonic Drive-In from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 20th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on shares of Sonic Drive-In from $29.00 to $28.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, March 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $28.67.


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Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Sonic Drive-In by 1.7% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,171,678 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $142,119,000 after buying an additional 86,842 shares in the last quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Sonic Drive-In by 21.9% during the first quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 1,118,894 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $28,230,000 after buying an additional 201,195 shares in the last quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C grew its position in shares of Sonic Drive-In by 168.4% during the fourth quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 810,109 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $22,262,000 after buying an additional 508,282 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC grew its position in shares of Sonic Drive-In by 240.0% during the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 631,237 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $17,346,000 after buying an additional 445,606 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its position in shares of Sonic Drive-In by 12.8% during the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 552,331 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $13,935,000 after buying an additional 62,642 shares in the last quarter.


NASDAQ SONC opened at $32.61 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.09, a PEG ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 1.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.85, a current ratio of 2.51 and a quick ratio of 2.51. Sonic Drive-In has a 1-year low of $22.11 and a 1-year high of $33.18.

Sonic Drive-In (NASDAQ:SONC) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, March 27th. The restaurant operator reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.15 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $88.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $94.34 million. Sonic Drive-In had a negative return on equity of 25.75% and a net margin of 16.01%. Sonic Drive-In’s revenue was down 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.15 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Sonic Drive-In will post 1.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.


The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 18th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 9th were given a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.96%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 8th. Sonic Drive-In’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.20%.

Sonic Drive-In declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 7th that permits the company to repurchase $500.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the restaurant operator to repurchase up to 42.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Sonic Drive-In 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.