Shares of fast food chain Sonic falls on weak outlook

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Shares of Sonic tumbled Wednesday after the fast food chain issued profit expectations for its soon-to-be released fourth quarter report that were short of Wall Street projections.

The Oklahoma City restaurant known for its drive-in locations said traffic was light.

Adjusted earnings during the three months that ended Aug. 31 will likely come in between 43 and 45 cents per share, the company said after the market closed Tuesday. Wall Street analysts had been looking for per-share earns closer to 47 cents, according to FactSet.

Sonic expects sales at locations open at least a year, a key measure of a retailer's health, to fall about 2 percent during the quarter. That also may have left Wall Street deflated, with the consensus estimates for comparable stores falling just 1.7 percent.

The year-end earnings report is expected on Oct. 24

There are 3,500 Sonic locations around the country.

Shares of Sonic Corp. fell $1.83, almost 7 percent, to $25.61 in early trading Wednesday.