The following excerpt is from the company's SEC filing.

and Treasurer

(405) 225-4800 

SONIC REPORTS SECOND FISCAL QUARTER EARNINGS PER SHARE GROWTH OF 14% DRIVEN BY REFRANCHISING GAINS

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 28, 2017) - Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ: SONC), the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced results for its second fiscal quarter ended February 28, 2017.

Key highlights of the company’s second quarter of fiscal year 2017 included:

Net income per diluted share increased 14% to $0.25 versus $0.22 in the prior-year period; adjusted net income per diluted share declined 17% to $0.15 versus $0.18 in the prior-year period;

System same-store sales declined 7.4%, consisting of a 7.3% same-store sales decrease at franchise drive-ins and an 8.9% decrease at company drive-ins;

Company drive-in margins declined by 330 basis points;

Ten new drive-ins opened and 54 drive-ins were refranchised; and

The company repurchased 1.8 million outstanding shares.

"Our second quarter results reflect a sluggish consumer environment, weather headwinds and share losses following exceptionally strong performance over the prior two years," said Cliff Hudson, Sonic Corp. CEO. “As we enter the key spring and summer seasons, we believe a better balance of new product news and targeted value will result in sequential improvement in same-store sales and profitability.

“Our unit growth, capital structure and technology initiatives are on track,” continued Hudson. “We completed our refranchising program ahead of schedule with 54 drive-ins divested during the quarter, leaving us with a stronger portfolio of company-owned stores. We are also pleased to have repurchased 1.8 million shares of our stock in the second quarter of 2017, representing 4% of shares outstanding, while continuing to invest in the development, people and technology that will drive us to deliver the most personalized guest experience in the industry."

Same-Store Sales

For the second quarter ended February 28, 2017, system same-store sales decreased 7.4%, which was comprised of a 7.3% same-store sales decline at franchise drive-ins and a decline of 8.9% at company drive-ins.

Financial Overview

For the second fiscal quarter of 2017, the company’s net income totaled

$11.0 million

per diluted share compared to net income of

$10.8 million

per diluted share in the same period of the prior year. Excluding the items outlined below, net income and net income per diluted share declined

, respectively.

The following analysis of non-GAAP adjustments is intended to supplement the presentation of the company’s financial results in accordance with GAAP.  The company believes that the presentation of this analysis provides useful information to investors and management regarding the underlying business trends and the performance of the company’s ongoing operations and is helpful for period-to-period and company-to-company comparisons, which management believes will assist investors in analyzing the financial results of the company and predicting future performance.

(In thousands, except per share amounts)

Three months ended

February 28, 2017

February 29, 2016

Diluted

Net Income

Diluted EPS

$ Change

% Change

Reported – GAAP

10,963

10,819

Net gain on refranchising transactions

(6,788

Tax impact on refranchising transactions

Gain on sale of real estate

(1,875

Tax impact on real estate sale

Retroactive benefit of Work Opportunity Tax Credit and resolution of tax matters

Adjusted - Non-GAAP

(2,403

________________

During the second quarter of fiscal year 2017, we completed transactions to refranchise the operations of 54 drive-ins, one of which resulted in a gain of $7.8 million, and the other in a loss of $1.4 million. The loss transaction included a deferred gain of $1.0 million, which is recorded in other non-current liabilities, as a result of a real estate purchase option extended to the franchisee that will be exercised or expire between January 2020 and December 2023. Additionally, we received net lease payments of $0.4 million related to the first quarter transaction detailed in footnote 1 to the table below.

Tax impact during the period at an adjusted effective tax rate of 36.0%.

Tax impact during the period at an adjusted effective tax rate of 35.4%.

For the first six months of fiscal year 2017, net income totaled

$24.1 million

per diluted share compared with net income of

$23.3 million

per diluted share for the same period in 2016. Excluding the items outlined below, net income and net income per diluted share decreased

, respectively.

Six months ended

24,081

23,277

(5,831

Gain on sale of investment in refranchised drive-in operations

(3,795

Tax impact on sale of investment in refranchised drive-in operations

17,910

21,481

(3,571

During the first quarter of fiscal year 2017, we completed transactions to refranchise the operations of 56 company drive-ins. Of the proceeds, $3.8 million represents the initial lease payment for a real estate purchase option that will be exercised or expire within 24 months, which resulted in a net loss of $1.0 million. Unless and until the option is exercised or expires, the franchisee will make monthly lease payments of $0.3 million through November 2017 and $0.1 million thereafter, through November 2018, which will be included in other operating income. We are including lease payments received, net of sub-lease expenses, to quantify the net refranchising gain (loss). Net payments received during the second quarter totaled $0.4 million. During the second quarter of fiscal year 2017, we completed transactions to refranchise the operations of 54 drive-ins, one of which resulted in a gain of $7.8 million, and the other in a loss of $1.4 million. The loss transaction included a deferred gain of $1.0 million, which is recorded in other non-current liabilities, as a result of a real estate purchase option extended to the franchisee that will be exercised or expire between January 2020 and December 2023.

Combined tax impact at effective tax rates of 35.6% and 36.0% during the first and second quarters of fiscal year 2017, respectively.

Gain on sale of investment in refranchised drive-ins is related to minority investments in franchise operations retained as part of a refranchising transaction that occurred in fiscal year 2009. Income from minority investments is included in other revenue on the condensed consolidated statements of income.

Tax impact during the period at an adjusted effective tax rate of 35.6%.

Fiscal Year 2017

Outlook

While the macroeconomic environment may impact results, the company continues to expect adjusted earnings per share for fiscal year 2017 to be in the range of down 7% to flat year over year. The outlook for fiscal 2017 anticipates the following elements:

(2)% to 0% same-store sales for the system;

Royalty revenue growth from new unit development;

65 to 75 new franchise drive-in openings;

Drive-in-level margins of 15.5% to 16.0%, depending upon the degree of same-store sales growth at company drive-ins;

Selling, general and administrative expenses of approximately $81 million to $82 million reflecting increased investment in human resources and technology to support brand initiatives, offset by lower incentive compensation;

Depreciation and amortization expense of $37.5 million to $38.5 million reflecting the divestiture of company drive-ins as previously announced;

Net interest expense of approximately $26.5 million to $27.5 million;

Capital expenditures of $40 million to $45 million reflecting ongoing investment into the company’s technology initiatives;

Free cash flow

of approximately $55 to $60 million;

An income tax rate between 34% to 35%;

The planned use of the remaining $75 million share repurchase authorization across the fiscal year, inclusive of refranchising proceeds; and

An expected quarterly cash dividend of $0.14 per share.

Earnings Conference Call

The company will host a conference call to review financial results at 5:00 PM ET this evening.  The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing (877) 545-1402 or (719) 325-4771 for international callers.  A replay will be available one hour after the call and can be accessed by dialing (844) 512-2921 or (412) 317-6671 for international callers; the conference ID is 8513191.  The replay will be available until Tuesday, April 4, 2017.  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

http://ir.sonicdrivein.com/

About Sonic

SONIC, America's Drive-In is the nation's largest drive-in restaurant chain serving more than 3 million customers every day. Over 90 percent of SONIC's 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. For more than 60 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, more than 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. Since the 2009 launch of SONIC's Limeades for Learning philanthropic campaign in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, SONIC has donated more than $5 million to public school teachers nationwide to fund essential learning materials and innovative teaching resources to inspire creativity and learning in today's youth. To learn more about Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit

and please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about SONIC's Limeades for Learning initiative, please visit

Limeadesforlearning.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.

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

The tables that follow provide information regarding the number of company drive-ins, franchise drive-ins and system drive-ins in operation as of the end of the periods indicated.  In addition, these tables provide information regarding franchise sales, system growth in sales, and both franchise and system average drive-in sales and change in same-store sales.  System information includes both company and franchise drive-in information, which we believe is useful in analyzing the growth of our brand.  While we do not record franchise drive-in sales as revenues, we believe this information is important in understanding our financial performance since we calculate and record franchise royalties based on a percentage of franchise sales.  This information also is indicative of the financial health of our franchisees.

SONC-F

SONIC CORP.

UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

February 29, 2016

Revenues:

Company Drive-In sales

64,286

95,313

151,438

199,196

Franchise Drive-Ins:

Franchise royalties and fees

34,328

36,047

74,467

75,969

Lease revenue

Total revenues

100,158

133,160

229,709

278,963

Costs and expenses:

Company Drive-Ins:

Food and packaging

17,616

26,213

41,732

55,159

Payroll and other employee benefits

25,332

35,359

57,098

71,723

Other operating expenses, exclusive of depreciation and amortization included below

14,278

20,100

33,704

43,008

Total cost of Company Drive-In sales

57,226

81,672

132,534

169,890

18,296

20,785

38,050

41,725

11,057

20,011

22,056

Other operating income, net

(7,725

(2,566

(10,565

(2,965

Total costs and expenses

77,531

110,948

180,030

230,706

Income from operations

22,627

22,212

49,679

48,257

Interest expense

14,416

12,689

Interest income

13,660

12,484

Income before income taxes

15,662

15,850

36,019

35,773

Provision for income taxes

11,938

12,496

Basic income per share

Diluted income per share

Weighted average basic shares

43,794

48,977

44,757

49,599

Weighted average diluted shares

44,550

49,988

45,547

50,656

Unaudited Supplemental Information

Drive-Ins in Operation:

Company:

Total at beginning of period

Opened

Sold to franchisees

Closed (net of re-openings)

Total at end of period

Franchise:

Acquired from the company

System-wide:

($ in thousands)

Sales Analysis:

Total sales

Average drive-in sales

Change in same-store sales

Franchised Drive-Ins:

856,514

886,313

1,830,399

1,854,828

Change in total sales

Note:  Change in same-store sales based on restaurants open for a minimum of 15 months.

(In thousands)

34,138

35,807

74,021

75,269

Franchise fees

Margin Analysis (percentage of Company Drive-In sales):

Payroll and employee benefits

Cost of Company Drive-In sales

August 31,

Selected Balance Sheet Data:

Cash and cash equivalents

33,890

72,092

Current assets

94,840

137,657

Property, equipment and capital leases, net

359,119

392,380

Total assets

571,664

648,661

Current liabilities, including capital lease obligations and long-term debt due within one year

56,681

74,663

Obligations under capital leases due after one year

16,270

17,391

Long-term debt due after one year, net of debt issuance costs

593,147

566,187

Total liabilities

729,355

724,304

Stockholders' equity (deficit)

(157,691

(75,643

The above information was disclosed in a filing to the SEC. To see the filing, click here.

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