The Principal Financial Group Inc. invests in Fred’s Inc. (FRED) Shares

The Principal Financial Group Inc. invests in Fred’s Inc. (FRED) Shares

Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Fred’s Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) by 2.5% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 246,375 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 5,961 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.66% of Fred’s worth $3,969,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of FRED. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of 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. Springbok Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Fred’s by 1,889.2% in the first quarter. Springbok Capital Management LLC now owns 12,731 shares of the company’s stock worth $190,000 after buying an additional 12,091 shares during the last quarter. Menta Capital LLC raised its position in shares of Fred’s by 9.7% in the first quarter. Menta Capital LLC now owns 25,969 shares of the company’s stock worth $387,000 after buying an additional 2,287 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio raised its position in shares of Fred’s by 8.3% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 47,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $758,000 after buying an additional 3,600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank raised its position in shares of Fred’s by 2.2% in the second quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 60,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $976,000 after buying an additional 1,300 shares during the last quarter. 95.07% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Fred’s Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) opened at 8.99 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $9.44 and its 200 day moving average is $13.24. Fred’s Inc. has a 12 month low of $8.66 and a 12 month high of $17.14. The stock’s market cap is $335.76 million.

Fred’s (NASDAQ:FRED) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 30th. The company reported ($0.18) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.21) by $0.03. Fred’s had a negative net margin of 0.37% and a positive return on equity of 0.13%. The business had revenue of $529.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $546.23 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned ($0.13) earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Fred’s Inc. will post ($0.36) EPS for the current year.

FRED has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Fred’s from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $18.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Sidoti raised shares of Fred’s from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $12.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, October 7th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $15.00 price objective on shares of Fred’s in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd. Finally, MKM Partners reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $14.00 price objective on shares of Fred’s in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $11.80.

In other Fred’s news, Director Michael Hayes sold 10,000 shares of Fred’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $17,438,408.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Company insiders own 6.40% 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.

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