Sonic Corp (SONC) Prelim. Q4 EPS Falls Short of Consensus

September 27, 2016 4:10 PM EDT

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Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ: SONC), the nation's largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced preliminary results for its fourth fiscal quarter ended August 31, 2016.

The company estimates that system-wide same-store sales for its fourth fiscal quarter decreased approximately 2.0%. Estimated same-store sales performance reflects a decrease of approximately 3.0% at company drive-ins and a decrease of approximately 1.8% at franchise drive-ins for the fourth fiscal quarter. Additionally, net income per diluted share is anticipated to be $0.51 to $0.53. Adjusted net income per diluted share is estimated to be $0.43 to $0.45 for the fourth fiscal quarter.

(Street sees Q4 EPS of $0.48)

"While we delivered a solid overall fiscal 2016 performance with 2.6% system-wide same-store sales growth, the fourth quarter was below our expectations from both a sales and a profit perspective,” said Cliff Hudson, Sonic Corp. CEO. “The shortfall was largely driven by lower-than-expected traffic, reflecting lower consumer spending in restaurants and continued aggressive competitive activity. As we look ahead to fiscal 2017, we remain focused on delivering one of the most differentiated customer experiences in the quick service industry with innovative products, targeted value propositions and outstanding customer service.”

In the fourth fiscal quarter, 19 new drive-ins were opened. In fiscal 2016, 53 new drive-ins were opened. On a net basis, the brand saw an increase of 31 drive-ins for fiscal 2016, representing a 1% increase in system drive-ins.

Preliminary results remain subject to the completion of normal quarter-end accounting procedures and adjustments and are subject to change. Final results for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016 as well as the company’s outlook for fiscal year 2017 will be released on October 24, 2016.

Fourth Fiscal Quarter 2016 Earnings Call

The company will release results for the quarter ended August 31, 2016 at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Monday, October 24, 2016. The company will host a conference call to review financial results at 5:00 PM ET that evening. The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing (877) 419-6590 or (719) 325-4786 for international callers. A replay will be available one hour after the call and can be accessed by dialing (877) 870-5176 or (858) 384-5517 for international callers; the conference ID is 5500371. The replay will be available until Monday, October 31, 2016. An online replay of the conference call will be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the live broadcast. A link to this event may be found on the company's investor relations website at

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