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Sonic Reports 25% Increase In Fourth Quarter Earnings

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ: SONC), the nation's largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended August 31, 2012.

Key highlights of the company's fourth quarter report included:
  • The company's net income per diluted share increased 25% to $0.25 compared with net income per diluted share of $0.20 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011; and
  • System-wide same-store sales increased 2.3% during the fourth quarter, with an increase of 4.3% at company drive-ins and 2.1% at franchise drive-ins.

“We are pleased to conclude fiscal 2012 with solid same-store sales growth in the fourth quarter, resulting in increased franchising revenue and operating margins which combined with our share repurchase program, drove a 25% increase in earnings per share,” said Cliff Hudson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “In fiscal 2013, we expect to build upon our fiscal 2012 initiatives with a continued focus on new and differentiated products combined with iconic creative and a layered day-part promotional strategy to drive consistent same-store sales growth. This in turn is expected to drive further margin expansion. In addition, with the strength and flexibility of our business model, we are able to generate sufficient free cash flow 1 to invest in our business, pay down debt and repurchase shares to enhance shareholder value.

“Over the next two to three years, initiatives such as our new point-of-sale system and the new small building prototype will complement our same-store sales initiatives to increase sales and profits,” added Hudson. “We are confident our multi-layered growth strategy which incorporates same-store sales growth, leverage from higher sales, deployment of cash, increasing royalty revenue and new drive-in development will enable us to achieve double-digit earnings per share growth in the near and long term.”

Financial Overview

For the fourth fiscal quarter ended August 31, 2012, the company's net income totaled $14.5 million or $0.25 per diluted share compared with net income of $12.3 million or $0.20 per diluted share in the year-earlier quarter.

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