Fred’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED)’s share price rose 1.2% during trading on Thursday following a dividend announcement from the company. The company traded as high as $17.27 and last traded at $17.28, with a volume of 538,597 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $17.07.

The newly announced dividend which will be paid on Wednesday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.06 per share. This represents a $0.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.36%. Fred’s’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -18.32%.

FRED has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Stephens raised shares of Fred’s from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, January 6th. TheStreet raised shares of Fred’s from a “d+” rating to a “c-” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Fred’s from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 1st. Sidoti cut shares of Fred’s from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $12.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, December 20th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG decreased their price target on shares of Fred’s from $10.00 to $9.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, November 1st. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $18.00.

The company’s market cap is $658.20 million. The company’s 50 day moving average is $16.09 and its 200-day moving average is $12.35.

Fred’s (NASDAQ:FRED) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 8th. The company reported ($0.27) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.17) by $0.10. The business earned $516.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $514.27 million. Fred’s had a negative net margin of 2.23% and a negative return on equity of 0.94%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.10 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Fred’s, Inc. will post ($0.51) EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Fred’s news, Director Michael Hayes sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.17, for a total value of $201,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 1,524,909 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,757,414.53. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alden Global Capital Llc acquired 5,533,005 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 22nd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $19.85 per share, with a total value of $109,830,149.25. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 21,255 shares of company stock valued at $423,282 in the last three months. Insiders own 6.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Martin & Co. Inc. TN increased its stake in Fred’s by 0.8% in the third quarter. Martin & Co. Inc. TN now owns 71,715 shares of the company’s stock worth $650,000 after buying an additional 575 shares in the last quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC increased its stake in Fred’s by 1,030.9% in the third quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 126,425 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,145,000 after buying an additional 115,246 shares in the last quarter. Matarin Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Fred’s during the third quarter worth about $201,000. BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its stake in Fred’s by 0.3% in the third quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 390,169 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,535,000 after buying an additional 1,232 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sei Investments Co. increased its stake in Fred’s by 14.5% in the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 108,040 shares of the company’s stock worth $979,000 after buying an additional 13,645 shares in the last quarter. 90.82% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Fred’s Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:FRED

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