Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ: SONC) and Jamba (NASDAQ:JMBA) are both small-cap retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, valuation, institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations and profitability.

Dividends

Sonic Corp. pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Jamba does not pay a dividend. Sonic Corp. pays out 37.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Sonic Corp. and Jamba, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sonic Corp. 1 7 4 0 2.25
Jamba 0 1 0 0 2.00

Sonic Corp. currently has a consensus price target of $27.64, indicating a potential upside of 16.31%. Given Sonic Corp.’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Sonic Corp. is more favorable than Jamba.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

97.5% of Sonic Corp. shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.2% of Jamba shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.2% of Sonic Corp. shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 15.9% of Jamba shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Sonic Corp. and Jamba’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sonic Corp. 13.23% -44.21% 9.71%
Jamba N/A N/A N/A

Risk and Volatility

Sonic Corp. has a beta of 1.74, indicating that its share price is 74% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Jamba has a beta of 0.2, indicating that its share price is 80% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Sonic Corp. and Jamba’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sonic Corp. $515.82 million 1.93 $158.68 million $1.50 15.84
Jamba $81.90 million 1.77 -$3.64 million ($1.03) -9.18

Sonic Corp. has higher revenue and earnings than Jamba. Jamba is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Sonic Corp., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Sonic Corp. beats Jamba on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Sonic Corp. 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. At a Sonic Drive-In, a customer drives into one of the parking spaces, orders through the intercom speaker system and has the food delivered by a carhop and Sonic Drive-Ins also include a drive-thru lane and patio seating to provide customers with alternative dining options. Its food items include specialty drinks, such as cherry limeades and slushes, ice cream desserts and chicken sandwiches and hamburgers.

Jamba Company Profile

Jamba, Inc. is a restaurant retailer of specialty food and beverage offerings. The Company operates through retail segment. The Company’s offerings include whole fruit smoothies, squeezed juices and juice blends, Energy Bowls, and a range of food items including, hot oatmeal, breakfast wraps, sandwiches, Artisan Flatbreads, baked goods and snacks. The Company, through its subsidiary, Jamba Juice Company, operates a lifestyle brand. The Company has a global business driven by a portfolio of franchised and company-owned Jamba Juice stores, and licensed JambaGO and Jamba Juice Express formats. The Company has approximately 890 Jamba Juice stores globally, consisting of over 70 company-owned and operated stores, all located in the United States (Company Stores), approximately 740 franchisee-owned and operated stores (Franchise Stores) in the United States, and over 70 Franchise Stores in international locations (International Stores), collectively the (Jamba System).

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