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VOL. 127 | NO. 33 | Friday, February 17, 2012

Fred's Increases Dividend, Expands Buyback Plans

AP

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MEMPHIS (AP) – Discount retailer Fred's Inc. announced Thursday that it is increasing its quarterly cash dividend and expanding its stock buyback plans.

Fred's, which operates 700 discount stores in the southeastern United States, is raising its quarterly cash dividend by 20 percent. It will issue a dividend of 6 cents per share on March 15 to shareholders of record as of March 1. That is up from its most recent dividend of 5 cents per share.

This is the fourth consecutive year Fred's has raised its dividend.

The company's board also authorized an expansion of its existing stock repurchase program to it can buy back 3.6 million more shares or approximately 10 percent of its currently outstanding shares.

Fred's has repurchased most of the shares authorized under a plan approved in 2007 covering 4 million shares. The company has roughly 36.8 million shares outstanding.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 98 400 5,162
MORTGAGES 129 530 7,170
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 24 117 1,592
BUILDING PERMITS 0 774 12,068
BANKRUPTCIES 65 309 4,834
BUSINESS LICENSES 27 142 2,125
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 65 373 6,624
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 117 1,490

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