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TheStreet Open House

Sonic Reports Improved Sales And Operating Income

Stocks in this article: SONC

Development

Across the Sonic system, 10 new franchise drive-ins were opened in the second quarter of fiscal 2012 versus five new franchise drive-in openings during the second quarter of fiscal 2011. New franchise drive-in openings in fiscal 2012 are expected to total between 30 and 40.

Fiscal Year 2012 Outlook

The company expects its initiatives to drive positive sales going forward; however, uncertainty with regard to the external environment and its impact on consumer confidence may result in continued sales volatility. The company’s outlook for fiscal 2012 anticipates the following elements:

  • The opening of 30 to 40 new franchise drive-ins;
  • Positive same-store sales; a 1% annual change in same-store sales equates to approximately $0.03 in net income per diluted share;
  • Flat to slightly favorable annual restaurant-level margins; despite commodity cost increases and higher operating expenses during the first half of the year, moderating commodity cost increases are expected to result in slightly favorable margins in the second half of the year, depending upon the degree of same-store sales growth;
  • Selling, general and administrative expenses of $67 million to $68 million;
  • Depreciation and amortization of $42 million to $43 million;
  • Net interest expense of approximately $32 million;
  • An income tax rate of between 38% and 39%, depending upon the reinstatement of employment tax credit programs; and
  • Capital expenditures in the range of $25 million to $30 million.

1 Free cash flow is defined as net income plus depreciation, amortization and stock compensation expense, less capital expenditures.

Earnings Conference Call

The company will host a conference call and online web simulcast this afternoon beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET. The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing (877) 397-0250 or (719) 457-2664 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 1205487. The replay will be available until Wednesday, March 28, 2012. 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 will be available on the investor section of the company's website, www.sonicdrivein.com.

About Sonic

Sonic, America's Drive-In, originally started as a hamburger and root beer stand in 1953 in Shawnee, Oklahoma called Top Hat Drive-In, and then changed its name to Sonic in 1959. The first drive-in to adopt the Sonic name is still serving customers in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Sonic has more than 3,500 drive-ins coast to coast, where approximately three million customers eat every day. For more information about Sonic Corp. and its subsidiaries, visit Sonic at www.sonicdrivein.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements reflect management's expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or underlying, these forward-looking statements are detailed in the company's annual and quarterly report filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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