Discount retailer Fred's reports 4Q loss of $8.2 million, adjusted results match expectations

MarketsAssociated Press

Fred's Inc. booked an $8.2 million fourth-quarter loss as a rise in expenses countered a small sales gain, and the discount retailer continued working to improve its performance.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based company said Thursday that its loss totaled 22 cents per share in the quarter that ended Jan. 31, but it earned 2 cents per share when accounting for non-recurring costs.

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That met Wall Street expectations, according to the average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

The company earned nearly $4 million, or 11 cents per share, in the previous year's quarter.

Revenue climbed about 2 percent to $504.4 million, in the most recent quarter.

Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $506.6 million.

Selling, general and administrative costs climbed 9 percent to $129.1 million in the quarter.

For the year, the company reported a loss of $28.9 million, or 79 cents per share, on $1.97 billion in revenue.

CEO Jerry A. Shore said in a statement that Fred's worked aggressively in the last half of the year to clear inventory and close underperforming stores, among other things. He added that those steps were painful in the near term but needed in order to to restore and expand profitability.

Fred's, Inc. operates 661 discount general merchandise stores in the southeastern United States.

The company's stock dropped 2 percent, or 39 cents, to $17.75 in midmorning trading, while broader indexes were down slightly.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on FRED at http://www.zacks.com/ap/FRED