Fred’s (FRED) Shares Down 8.4%

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Fred’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED)’s share price was down 8.4% during mid-day trading on Monday . The stock traded as low as $1.50 and last traded at $1.53. Approximately 850,765 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 127% from the average daily volume of 375,577 shares. The stock had previously closed at $1.67.

Separately, ValuEngine cut Fred’s from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.78, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a current ratio of 1.89.

Fred’s declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, January 30th that permits the company to buyback 3,500,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Royce & Associates LP increased its position in shares of Fred’s by 15.2% during the 4th quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 1,818,269 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,437,000 after purchasing an additional 239,900 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of Fred’s by 4.0% during the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 398,173 shares of the company’s stock valued at $753,000 after purchasing an additional 15,195 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Fred’s during the 3rd quarter valued at $332,000. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Fred’s in the 4th quarter worth $135,000. Finally, Virtu Financial LLC acquired a new position in shares of Fred’s in the 4th quarter worth $77,000. Institutional investors own 64.40% of the company’s stock.

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About Fred’s (NASDAQ:FRED)

Fred's, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, sells general merchandise through its retail discount stores and full service pharmacies. The company, through its stores, offers health, beauty, and personal care products; household cleaning supplies, disposable diapers, pet foods, and paper products; and various general merchandise, and food and beverage products to low, middle, and fixed income families located in small- to medium-sized towns.

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