Fred’s Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) shares saw strong trading volume on Friday . 211,264 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 64% from the previous session’s volume of 128,921 shares.The stock last traded at $15.50 and had previously closed at $15.01.

A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Fred’s from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday. MKM Partners restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $14.00 target price on shares of Fred’s in a report on Thursday. Sidoti assumed coverage on Fred’s in a report on Wednesday. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $17.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Fred’s from $14.00 to $15.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 31st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $16.00.

The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $15.08 and its 200 day moving average price is $14.86. The firm’s market cap is $577.98 million.

Fred’s (NASDAQ:FRED) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 26th. The company reported $0.03 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.02 by $0.01. The business earned $549.55 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $553.90 million. Fred’s’s quarterly revenue was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Fred’s Inc. will post $0.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 1st were issued a $0.06 dividend. This represents a $0.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.55%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 27th.

In other Fred’s news, Director Michael Hayes sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.71, for a total transaction of $147,100.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 1,591,066 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $23,404,580.86. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of FRED. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in Fred’s by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,093,951 shares of the company’s stock valued at $50,648,000 after buying an additional 54,483 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in Fred’s by 12.3% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 237,393 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,886,000 after buying an additional 26,000 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. increased its position in Fred’s by 11.5% in the fourth quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 99,530 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,629,000 after buying an additional 10,270 shares during the period. Finally, California State Teachers Retirement System increased its position in Fred’s by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 68,905 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,128,000 after buying an additional 1,244 shares during the period.

Fred’s, Inc (Fred’s) is engaged in the sale of general merchandise through its retail discount stores and full service pharmacies. The Company sells general merchandise to its over 20 franchisees. The Company has approximately 660 retail stores, over 370 pharmacies, and approximately three specialty pharmacy facilities located in over 15 states mainly in the Southeastern United States.

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