Fred's, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) Director Timothy A. Barton bought 85,000 shares of Fred's stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $3.94 per share, for a total transaction of $334,900.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 113,123 shares in the company, valued at $445,704.62. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

Fred's, Inc. (NASDAQ FRED) traded down $0.30 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $3.65. 2,253,649 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,220,465. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 0.44 and a current ratio of 1.78. Fred's, Inc. has a 12 month low of $3.57 and a 12 month high of $21.77.

Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, December 6th. The company reported ($0.42) EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.13) by ($0.29). Fred's had a negative net margin of 6.80% and a negative return on equity of 9.94%. The firm had revenue of $493.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $499.77 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($0.27) earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Fred's, Inc. will post -0.55 earnings per share for the current year.

Fred's announced that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Wednesday, December 6th that permits the company to repurchase 3,800,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Fred's by 2.1% in the 2nd quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 14,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Fred's by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 18,675 shares of the company’s stock valued at $172,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its stake in shares of Fred's by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 28,416 shares of the company’s stock valued at $263,000 after purchasing an additional 405 shares during the last quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund boosted its stake in shares of Fred's by 2.5% in the 2nd quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 26,114 shares of the company’s stock valued at $241,000 after purchasing an additional 648 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its stake in shares of Fred's by 6.3% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 13,594 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,000 after purchasing an additional 804 shares during the last quarter.

A number of research firms have weighed in on FRED. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Fred's from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, September 7th. Loop Capital reissued a “hold” rating and set a $4.00 target price on shares of Fred's in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $13.00.

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About Fred's

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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