Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC), the nation's largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced it is turning 60 years young as America’s Drive-In. Sonic will be celebrating the achievement of this milestone, along with its franchisees, next week at the Sonic national convention in San Diego.
Sonic’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Cliff Hudson offered, “It is going to be great to be with our operators in San Diego celebrating Sonic’s 60 year birthday, in addition to celebrating a summer of strong sales and profits. Our results reflect the strength and momentum of the Sonic brand and we look forward to continued growth in the near and long term.”
The company estimates system-wide same-store sales grew 5.9% for the fourth fiscal quarter resulting in estimated system-wide same-store sales growth of 2.3% for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2013. The company’s successful implementation of initiatives to improve service, product quality and value perception with increased media effectiveness and an innovative product and promotion pipeline drove strong fourth quarter sales. The Summer of Shakes promotion featuring 25 different shake flavors and the limited time offer promotion featuring two new pretzel dogs were especially popular; however, food costs associated with the successful fourth quarter promotions were unfavorably impacted due to product mix shift. Based upon these results, the company currently anticipates its fourth fiscal quarter earnings per share will increase 20% to $0.30, excluding the special items outlined below. These preliminary results are unaudited and will be finalized when the company issues its earnings results on October 21, 2013.
Fourth fiscal quarter adjustments are expected to include:
- A debt extinguishment charge in connection with a previously announced partial debt refinancing;
- A write-down associated with the closure of 12 lower-performing company drive-ins; and
- An impairment charge for the write-down of assets associated with the change in the vendor that is implementing the company’s new point-of-sale system.