Fred’s Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED)’s share price hit a new 52-week low during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as low as $9.31 and last traded at $9.36, with a volume of 159,046 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $9.76.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on FRED shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Fred’s from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, May 27th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on shares of Fred’s from $14.00 to $15.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 31st. MKM Partners reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Fred’s in a research report on Tuesday, May 31st. Finally, Sidoti began coverage on shares of Fred’s in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $17.00 target price on the stock. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and two have issued a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Sell” and a consensus price target of $12.80.

The company’s market cap is $351.26 million. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $12.38 and its 200 day moving average price is $14.34.

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Fred’s (NASDAQ:FRED) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 30th. The company reported ($0.18) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.21) by $0.03. The business had revenue of $529.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $546.23 million. Fred’s had a negative net margin of 0.37% and a positive return on equity of 0.13%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned ($0.13) EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Fred’s Inc. will post ($0.35) EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were given a dividend of $0.06 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.46%. Fred’s’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -109.09%.

In related news, Director Michael Hayes sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $11.04, for a total transaction of $110,400.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 1,579,566 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,438,408.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 6.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Mason Street Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Fred’s during the second quarter worth about $110,000. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Fred’s by 198.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,267 shares of the company’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 6,163 shares during the last quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC acquired a new position in Fred’s during the second quarter worth about $164,000. Trexquant Investment LP acquired a new position in Fred’s during the second quarter worth about $168,000. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in Fred’s by 111.2% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 10,897 shares of the company’s stock worth $176,000 after buying an additional 5,737 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.23% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:FRED

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