Company Profile (excerpt from Reuters): Sonic Corp., incorporated on August 31, 1990, 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, the Company’s 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. Sonic Drive-Ins also include a drive-thru lane and patio seating to provide customers with alternative dining options.
Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:
Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?
|Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.|
|1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise||Market Cap > $2Bil||$1,235,546,903||Fail|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Current Ratio > 2||1.78||Fail|
|3. Earnings Stability||Positive EPS for 10 years prior||Pass|
|4. Dividend Record||Dividend Payments for 10 years prior||Fail|
|5. Earnings Growth||Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end||215.07%||Pass|
|6. Moderate PEmg Ratio||PEmg < 20||23.09||Fail|
|7. Moderate Price to Assets||PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50||-4.67||Fail|
|Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.|
|1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Current Ratio > 1.5||1.78||Pass|
|2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition||Debt to NCA < 1.1||15.38||Fail|
|3. Earnings Stability||Positive EPS for 5 years prior||Pass|
|4. Dividend Record||Currently Pays Dividend||Pass|
|5. Earnings Growth||EPSmg greater than 5 years ago||Pass|
Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value
|MG Growth Estimate||15.00%|
|MG Value based on 3% Growth||$21.48|
|MG Value based on 0% Growth||$12.59|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||7.30%|
|% of Intrinsic Value||59.98%|
Sonic Corporation is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the small size, low current ratio, poor dividend history, and the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor is only concerned with the level of debt relative to the net current assets. As a result, all Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.
As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $0.64 in 2014 to an estimated $1.48 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 7.3% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.
At the time of valuation, further research into Sonic Corporation revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $0. The company pays a dividend of $0.56 per share, for a yield of 1.6% Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 23.09, which was below the industry average of 29.02, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-19.15.
Sonic Corporation performs fairly well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring a B-.
Stage 3: Information for Further Research
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$19.15|
|Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth||3|
|ModernGraham tagged articles||Morningstar|
|Google Finance||MSN Money|
|Yahoo Finance||Seeking Alpha|
Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures
|Balance Sheet Information||5/1/2018|
|Total Current Assets||$104,135,000|
|Total Current Liabilities||$58,512,000|
|Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average)||37,316,000|
Earnings Per Share History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$1.86|
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History
|Next Fiscal Year Estimate||$1.48|
Other ModernGraham posts about the company
|14 Best Stocks for Value Investors This Week – 2/11/17|
|Sonic Corporation Valuation – Initial Coverage $SONC|
Other ModernGraham posts about related companies
The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours. See my current holdings here. This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions. ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner. Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.