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Fred's Appoints Former Walgreen VP Rick Hans as New CFO

Off price retailer Fred’s Inc. FRED has been making management changes recently. After its former Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Jerry A. Shore was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the company has been in search of someone to fill his position.

Earlier this week, management has finally named Rick Hans as the Executive Vice President and the CFO of the company. With master's degrees in business administration from the University of Notre Dame as well as in materials science and engineering from the University of Texas, Hans is a Chartered Financial Analyst (a CFA charterholder) as well.

Recognized as the Retailing/Food & Drug Chains sector’s ‘Best Investor Relations Professional’ by the Institutional Investor magazine in 2013, Hans also boasts numerous leadership positions throughout his illustrious career.

Prior to joining Fred’s, Hans worked with Walgreen Co. in Deerfield, IL for as long as 27 years, where most recently, he served as the Vice President of Investor Relations and Finance. He also served as the Director of Finance and Assistant Treasurer for the company, when he developed a sound capital structure that facilitated several key acquisitions. He was also responsible for establishing more than 250 Walgreen drugstores.

We believe that Fred’s will be able to turn its luck around under Hans’ leadership. In Mar 2016, the company reported its fourth-quarter results, wherein earnings came in lower than expected. Although sales met estimates, lower comps dampened investor confidence. Moreover, adjusted gross margin declined 200 basis points, reflecting an increase in sales at the company's profitable, but lower-margin specialty pharmacy division.

Fred’s carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Burlington Stores Inc. BURL, Dollar General Stores Inc. DG and Target Corporation TGT. All the three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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DOLLAR GENERAL (DG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TARGET CORP (TGT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FREDS INC (FRED): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BURLINGTON STRS (BURL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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