Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ: SONC), the nation's largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced results for the third fiscal quarter ended May 31, 2013.
Key highlights of the company's third quarter report included:
- The company's net income per diluted share increased 8% to $0.26 in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 compared with net income per diluted share of $0.24 in the third quarter of fiscal 2012;
- System-wide same-store sales increased 0.1% during the third quarter, consisting of 0.2% same-store sales increase at franchise drive-ins and a decrease of 1.1% at company drive-ins; weather is estimated to have had a 300 to 400 basis point adverse impact on system-wide same-store sales for the quarter; and
- The company purchased $11 million of stock during the third fiscal quarter bringing fiscal year-to-date purchases to $35.5 million representing approximately 6% of its outstanding stock as of the beginning of the fiscal year.
“While challenging weather in March and April had a significant impact on our third quarter results, we were pleased to see our same-store sales return to positive in April and May,” said Clifford Hudson, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “Our new product pipeline and the increased efficiency of our media spending, including the shift to increased national advertising, continue to be positive drivers of our business.
“We remain confident in our plan to grow shareholder value by way of the company’s multi-layered growth strategy,” added Hudson. “We expect the increased effectiveness of our media, our innovative product pipeline and layered day-part promotional strategy to continue to drive same-store sales growth and in turn margin improvement, which will also be enhanced by technology investments. This, combined with a new lower-cost, small building prototype, will improve the return on investment of new drive-ins, encouraging increased development. Finally, we will continue to utilize the strength and flexibility of our franchise business model to grow operating income and use our free cash flow 1 to opportunistically invest in our brand, repurchase stock and pay down debt. We expect each of the layers in our growth strategy to contribute to our ability to grow earnings per share at a rate in the low-to-mid teens in both the near term and long term.”Financial Overview For the third fiscal quarter ended May 31, 2013, the company's net income totaled $14.8 million or $0.26 per diluted share compared with net income of $14.4 million or $0.24 per diluted share in the same period of the prior year.