Sonic Corp. reported a 22 percent increase in earnings per share and steady same-store sales growth for the first quarter of its fiscal year on Thursday. The drive-in restaurant company posted net income of $6.1 million, or 11 cents per share, for the first quarter of the year compared to earnings of $5.5 million, or 9 cents per share, for the same period a year ago. Sonic saw same-store sales grow by 3 percent companywide for the first quarter. The company is continuing its share-repurchase program, and bought up 3 percent of outstanding stock during the first quarter of the year, worth about $18 million. “We are confident our multilayered growth strategy, which incorporates same-store sales growth, leverage from higher sales, deployment of free cash flow, increasing royalty revenues and new drive-in development, will enable us to achieve double-digit earnings per share growth in the near and long term,” Sonic CEO Cliff Hudson said in a statement.
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