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VOL. 127 | NO. 150 | Thursday, August 02, 2012

Fred's July Revenue Figure Rises

AP

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MEMPHIS (AP) – Discount-store operator Fred's Inc. said Wednesday that a key revenue figure edged up in July, boosted by markdowns aimed at increasing customer traffic. The company also raised its earnings guidance for the second quarter, citing a tax settlement with the state of Tennessee.

Its shares rose almost 2 percent in late afternoon trading.

Fred's said revenue in stores open at least one year rose 1.2 percent during the four weeks ended July 28. Total sales for the month rose 5 percent to $136.7 million.

Fred's, based on Memphis, Tenn., said pet, household supplies and pharmacy categories were big sellers during the month, and the company marked down goods to drive traffic into stores.

For the second-quarter, total revenue rose 4 percent to $470.7 million from $452.7 million, while revenue in stores open at least a year slipped 1.0 percent.

Analysts expected $468.9 million, according to FactSet.

Fred's also said that it completed negotiations with the state of Tennessee to settle a tax matter, which will help offset costs related to store closings and July sales markdowns, in the second quarter.

Because of that, the company now expects earnings per share for the second quarter to be 17 cents to 19 cents, up from prior guidance of 15 cents to 17 cents per share. Analysts expect 15 cents per share.

Fred's Inc. operates 698 discount general merchandise stores, including 21 franchised Fred's stores, in the southeastern United States.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 109 433 13,330
MORTGAGES 114 591 17,349
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 11 93 3,391
BUILDING PERMITS 0 366 30,930
BANKRUPTCIES 76 352 12,695
BUSINESS LICENSES 21 108 4,597
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 77 564 19,457
MARRIAGE LICENSES 29 151 4,060

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