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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 69 357 17,741
MORTGAGES 66 403 20,438
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 18 44 2,689
BUILDING PERMITS 208 696 36,641
BANKRUPTCIES 52 210 11,374
BUSINESS LICENSES 22 115 5,824
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 25 90 6,804
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 107 4,023