Westwood Holdings Group Inc. Boosts Stake in Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC)

Westwood Holdings Group Inc. raised its stake in Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) by 22.1% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 555,240 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after buying an additional 100,520 shares during the period. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. owned approximately 1.31% of Sonic Corp. worth $14,081,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in SONC. Cardinal Capital Management boosted its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 1.6% in the first quarter. Cardinal Capital Management now owns 17,448 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $442,000 after buying an additional 274 shares during the last quarter. Fenimore Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Sonic Corp. during the first quarter valued at about $18,085,000. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Sonic Corp. by 25.7% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 121,742 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $3,227,000 after buying an additional 24,896 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Sonic Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at about $30,952,000. Finally, Sandler Capital Management bought a new position in Sonic Corp. during the fourth quarter worth $7,338,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 97.24% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Sonic Corp. (SONC) traded down 0.54% on Wednesday, hitting $25.97. 230,640 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $28.54 and its 200-day moving average is $26.51. Sonic Corp. has a 52-week low of $21.12 and a 52-week high of $30.05. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.09 billion, a PE ratio of 17.31 and a beta of 1.77.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.43 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.02. Sonic Corp. had a net margin of 13.23% and a negative return on equity of 44.21%. The firm had revenue of $124 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $122.58 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.43 EPS. Sonic Corp.’s quarterly revenue was down 24.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Sonic Corp. will post $1.24 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 18th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 9th will be paid a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.14%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 7th. Sonic Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.33%.

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A number of analysts recently commented on SONC shares. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $29.00 price target on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Stephens reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $32.00 price target on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Bank of America Corporation reiterated an “underperform” rating and issued a $28.00 price target (down from $30.00) on shares of Sonic Corp. in a research report on Sunday, June 25th. BidaskClub lowered Sonic Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. Finally, Cowen and Company lifted their price target on Sonic Corp. from $23.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, June 23rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $27.21.

In other news, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,500 shares of Sonic Corp. stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.39, for a total transaction of $70,975.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Frank E. Richardson III sold 50,000 shares of Sonic Corp. stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.15, for a total transaction of $1,407,500.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,202,310 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $33,845,026.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.24% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

About Sonic Corp.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC)

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