First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Sonic Co. (NASDAQ:SONC) by 620.6% during the 3rd quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 113,937 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after acquiring an additional 98,125 shares during the quarter. First Trust Advisors LP’s holdings in Sonic were worth $4,938,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Flinton Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Sonic by 16.2% during the second quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 10,744 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $370,000 after purchasing an additional 1,496 shares during the last quarter. HL Financial Services LLC grew its stake in shares of Sonic by 14.9% during the second quarter. HL Financial Services LLC now owns 11,979 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $412,000 after purchasing an additional 1,553 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its stake in Sonic by 2.6% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 80,035 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $2,768,000 after acquiring an additional 2,024 shares during the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its stake in Sonic by 22.9% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 14,354 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $362,000 after acquiring an additional 2,673 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Engineers Gate Manager LP bought a new position in Sonic in the second quarter valued at approximately $210,000.

In other Sonic news, VP Carolyn C. Cummins sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.31, for a total value of $108,275.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider John H. Budd III sold 89,176 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.24, for a total transaction of $3,855,970.24. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 32,065 shares in the company, valued at $1,386,490.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 8.28% of the company’s stock.

SONC opened at $43.35 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.09, a PEG ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 1.32. Sonic Co. has a twelve month low of $23.22 and a twelve month high of $44.87.

Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 16th. The restaurant operator reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $111.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $113.22 million. Sonic had a net margin of 16.81% and a negative return on equity of 21.64%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.45 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Sonic Co. will post 1.64 EPS for the current year.

Sonic announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, August 8th that authorizes the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to purchase up to 40.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Sonic from $34.00 to $43.50 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 27th. Stephens cut shares of Sonic from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $40.00 to $43.50 in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. Barclays raised shares of Sonic from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. Piper Jaffray Companies cut shares of Sonic from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 25th. Finally, William Blair cut shares of Sonic from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 25th. Fourteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Sonic presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $36.08.

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Sonic Company Profile

Sonic Corp., through its subsidiaries, operates and franchises a chain of drive-in restaurants in the United States. As of August 31, 2018, the company operated 3,606 Sonic Drive-Ins in 45 states, including 3,427 Drive-Ins owned and operated by franchisees; and 179 Drive-Ins owned and operated by the company.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC)

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