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Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED) was upgraded by Zacks from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report released on Friday. The firm currently has a $17.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 4.42% from the company’s current price.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are reverting back to Neutral recommendation on Fred’s Inc. following improved comps reported by the company in the months of May and June. Positive effect from the company’s new marketing and branding program generated better revenues. Moreover, Fred’s’ ad broadcast helped attract traffic and heightened consumer awareness about its products. Though the company reported soft first quarter fiscal 2014 results with declining earnings and revenues, we are impressed by the fact that Fred’s has taken up several initiatives to drive profits. Management’s shift of focus to higher margin products is also encouraging. Management is optimistic about the near future and is taking aggressive steps to keep its inventory at manageable levels. However, we cannot avoid the fact that the company does not have international presence, which keeps it vulnerable to macroeconomic and industrial headwinds. Again high dependence on pharmacy department also remains an overhang. “

Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED) traded up 0.18% on Friday, hitting $16.31. 411,900 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Fred's has a one year low of $14.53 and a one year high of $21.05. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $15.24 and its 200-day moving average is $17.40. The company has a market cap of $601.1 million and a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.76.

Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED) last released its earnings data on Thursday, May 29th. The company reported $0.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $498.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $501.64 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.31 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Fred's will post $0.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at TheStreet downgraded shares of Fred's from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 13th. Separately, analysts at Wedbush reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Fred's in a research note on Friday, May 30th. They now have a $12.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $14.00. Finally, analysts at BB&T Corp. downgraded shares of Fred's from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, May 30th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $15.25.

Fred’s, Inc is engaged in the sale of general merchandise through its retail discount stores and full-service pharmacies.

To view Zacks’ full report, visit Zacks’ official website.

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