Zacks Investment Research Lowers Fred’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) to Sell

Fred’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Thursday, September 7th.

According to Zacks, “Fred’s has been grappling with losses since last five quarters now. The company incurred narrower-than-expected loss in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, with the top line meeting the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, sales declined year over year. Moreover, it has been reporting dismal comps since last many quarters, due to the sale of low productive discontinued inventory and headwinds in the consumable categories. Along with these factors, the persistent rise in generic dispensing rate has also hurt comps in the reported quarter. These factors have hurt Fred’s shares, which have underperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. We note that the loss estimates have also widened in the last seven days. Though management is trying hard to revive its performance by the execution of its turnaround strategy, which is likely to mainly focus on reducing SG&A expenses and driving free cash flow, turnaround might take time.”

FRED has been the topic of several other research reports. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $17.00 price target (down previously from $19.00) on shares of Fred’s in a research note on Saturday, June 3rd. ValuEngine lowered Fred’s from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Loop Capital initiated coverage on Fred’s in a research note on Thursday, August 24th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $6.00 target price on the stock. Finally, TheStreet lowered Fred’s from a “c-” rating to a “d” rating in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. Two equities research 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. Fred’s currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $13.50.

Shares of Fred’s (NASDAQ FRED) opened at 7.40 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $6.43 and a 200 day moving average of $11.01. The company’s market capitalization is $281.77 million. Fred’s has a 12 month low of $5.62 and a 12 month high of $21.77.

Fred’s (NASDAQ:FRED) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, September 6th. The company reported ($0.15) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.19) by $0.04. Fred’s had a negative return on equity of 4.02% and a negative net margin of 6.08%. The business had revenue of $507.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $504.90 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.18) earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Fred’s will post ($0.38) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Mason Street Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Fred’s by 7.2% during the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 8,225 shares of the company’s stock worth $108,000 after purchasing an additional 553 shares during the period. Howard Hughes Medical Institute grew its holdings in shares of Fred’s by 23.7% during the second quarter. Howard Hughes Medical Institute now owns 13,442 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 2,574 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its holdings in shares of Fred’s by 6.3% during the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 13,594 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 804 shares in the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in shares of Fred’s by 2.1% during the second quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 14,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Paloma Partners Management Co bought a new position in shares of Fred’s during the first quarter worth about $136,000.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Fred`s (NASDAQ:FRED)

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