What Analysts Like About Sonic Now

Fast-food operator Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ: SONC) last week posted solid numbers for its fourth quarter and, better still, raised its forecast for 2016 fiscal year. Shares rose by as much as 6% after the company reported earnings.

Same-store sales jumped 6.5% last quarter, topping the consensus estimate for an increase of 1.6%. Sonic now expects same-store sales to climb as much as 6% this year, up from its earlier forecast of up to 4%.

Earnings should rise by as much as 25% this year, the company said, improving on its earlier forecast of an increase of up to 20%. The company’s CEO said:

Continued strength in core menu items, combined with highly effective limited-time-offer and value-based promotions, allowed us to increase market share in a highly competitive environment.

Several analysts reiterated their ratings on the stock prior to the earnings report. Oppenheimer, for example, stuck with its Outperform rating, and Stephens reiterated a Buy rating and $34 price target. Piper Jaffray maintained an Overweight rating but lowered its price target from $42 to $37, and Sterne Agee CRT held a Buy rating while lowering its price target from $41 to $34.

After Sonic reported results, a couple of these firms raised their price targets and others did the same:

  • Jefferies raised its price target from $30 to $34 with a Hold rating.
  • Stephens raised its price target to $37 with a rating of Overweight.
  • Sterne Agee CRT boosted its target price from $34 to $40 while maintaining its Buy rating.
  • UBS lifted its price target from $28 to $33 with a Neutral rating.

Shares closed Friday at $35.33, up 0.5% for the day, in a 52-week range of $22.72 to $35.75. The high was posted on Friday. The consensus price target is $36.92 but may not include the most recent changes.

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