May 26, 2016 / 12:52 PM / a year ago

BRIEF-Fred's reports qtrly net sales $549.5 mln versus $509 mln

May 26 (Reuters) - Fred’s Inc :

* Fred’s reports first quarter 2016 earnings of $0.03 per share

* Q1 earnings per share $0.03

* Q1 sales rose 8 percent

* Q1 same store sales rose 1 percent

* Q1 earnings per share view $0.02 -- Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S

* “Continue to see gross margin pressure in pharmacy department, margin increases in general merchandise departments”

* For Q2, total sales are projected to range from flat to an increase of 2 pct versus same quarter last year

* Comparable store sales are projected to range from flat to an increase of 2 pct for Q2

* Sees company now expects total sales to increase 2 pct for FY

* Sees FY comparable store sales to increase 1 pct to 4 pct

* Change in FY outlook is primarily driven by “industry-wide slowdown in hepatitis C specialty drug market”

* Earnings per diluted share for fiscal 2016 are expected to range from $0.27 to $0.32

* Earnings per diluted share in Q2 projected to range from $0.00 to $0.03

* Expects May comparable store sales to range from slightly negative comp sales to flat comp sales

* Q2 earnings per share view $-0.04 -- Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S

* Qtrly net sales $549.5 million versus $509 million

* Q1 revenue view $553.9 million -- Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S

* FY earnings per share view $0.27, revenue view $2.26 billion -- Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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