Chartwell Investment Partners LLC Has $1.22 Million Stake in Sonic Co. (SONC)

Chartwell Investment Partners LLC reduced its position in Sonic Co. (NASDAQ:SONC) by 6.8% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 44,458 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 3,231 shares during the period. Chartwell Investment Partners LLC owned about 0.12% of Sonic worth $1,222,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Sonic by 25.9% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 125,289 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $3,443,000 after acquiring an additional 25,746 shares in the last quarter. Fenimore Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Sonic by 0.6% during the fourth quarter. Fenimore Asset Management Inc. now owns 861,167 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $23,665,000 after purchasing an additional 5,327 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas acquired a new stake in shares of Sonic during the fourth quarter worth approximately $397,000. American Century Companies Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Sonic during the fourth quarter worth approximately $772,000. Finally, Aperio Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Sonic during the fourth quarter worth approximately $203,000.

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

Several analysts recently commented on SONC shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Sonic from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, December 2nd. Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price target (up from $29.00) on shares of Sonic in a report on Thursday, December 28th. UBS Group cut shares of Sonic from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Oppenheimer cut shares of Sonic from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $29.00 price target for the company. in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $29.64.

Shares of Sonic Co. (NASDAQ SONC) opened at $24.60 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.87, a current ratio of 1.81 and a quick ratio of 1.81. The stock has a market cap of $951.07, a P/E ratio of 16.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.10 and a beta of 1.59. Sonic Co. has a one year low of $22.11 and a one year high of $30.05.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 4th. The restaurant operator reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 net margin of 13.68% and a negative return on equity of 28.95%. The company’s revenue was down 18.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.24 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Sonic Co. will post 1.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 16th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 7th were paid a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, February 6th. Sonic’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.24%.

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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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC)

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