Fred's, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED)’s share price reached a new 52-week low during trading on Thursday . The stock traded as low as $3.65 and last traded at $3.95, with a volume of 992500 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $3.77.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on FRED shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Fred's from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. Loop Capital initiated coverage on Fred's in a report on Thursday, August 24th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $6.00 target price for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. Fred's currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $13.00.

The company has a current ratio of 1.78, a quick ratio of 0.44 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77.

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

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

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Arizona State Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Fred's by 1.6% during 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 period. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Fred's by 2.1% during 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 period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its stake in shares of Fred's by 1.4% during 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 period. Texas Permanent School Fund raised its stake in shares of Fred's by 2.5% during 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 period. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its stake in shares of Fred's by 6.3% during 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 period.

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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.

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