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Consumer Discretionary : Multiline Retail | Small Cap ValueCompany profile

Fred's, Inc. (Fred's) is engaged in the sale of general merchandise through its retail discount stores and full service pharmacies. The Company sells general merchandise to its over 20 franchisees. The Company has approximately 660 retail stores, over 370 pharmacies, and approximately three specialty pharmacy facilities located in over 15 states mainly in the Southeastern United States. The Company is licensed to dispense pharmaceuticals in approximately 50 states. The Company operates approximately 640 company-owned stores, including over 60 express stores (or Xpress stores). Fred's is a combination of pharmacy, dollar store and mass merchant strategically located in smaller markets. It offers various product categories, including consumables, such as tobacco, food and beverage, prescription pharmaceuticals, paper and cleaning supplies, pet supplies, health and beauty aids, and discretionary products, such as home decor, seasonal merchandise, auto and hardware, and lawn and garden.

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UPDATE: Don't be fooled by investment managers' 10-year performance claims

7:22 am ET January 4, 2019 (MarketWatch)

By Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch

Most got a boost because of big declines in late 2008 and early 2009

When selecting a mutual fund or even an index fund, it is reasonable for investors to compare performance -- especially long-term performance. But this year you may see many amazing 10-year return figures bandied about, and you need to take them with a grain of salt.

Here's a lovely chart showing 10-year total returns (including reinvested dividends) for the Dow Jones Industrial Average , S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite Index through Dec. 31, 2018:

But 10 years ago, stocks were getting close to their March 2009 bottom, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. This means the 10-year figures are inflated. How many clairvoyant investors made big bets at or near the bottom and then held them for 10 years? The index figures for 10 years are fantastic, and this holds true for many actively managed mutual funds, and of course for index funds.

Two more charts put this into perspective. First, here's how the three broad indexes fared during 2008:

And here are 15-year returns:

For all three, the 15-year returns are significantly lower than the 10-year returns.

This table shows total returns for various long-term periods for the 11 sectors of the S&P 500. They are sorted by 15-year returns:

Total returns, with dividends reinvested

S&P 500 Sector 3 years 5 years 10 years 15 years 2008

Utilities 36% 67% 170% 303% 1%

Information Technology 58% 101% 440% 301% 15%

Consumer Discretionary 31% 59% 439% 291% 24%

Health Care 26% 69% 292% 278% 18%

Consumer Staples 10% 35% 183% 250% 11%

Real Estate 12% 53% 248% 238% 20%

Industrials 25% 34% 230% 204% 15%

Materials 23% 21% 186% 167% 15%

Energy 3% -25% 41% 165% 5%

Communications Services 7% 14% 106% 148% 18%

Financials 30% 48% 182% 44% 29%

S&P 500 Index 30% 50% 243% 207% -37%

Dow Jones Industrial Average 44% 59% 244% 225% -32%

Nasdaq Composite Index 37% 68% 371% 284% 0%

Source: FactSet

The utilities sector is your 15-year champion. For 10 years, the high-flying information-technology sector has been the best performer, followed closely by the consumer-discretionary sector, which is helped by the inclusion of (AMZN). But here's how all the sectors performed in 2008, ranked from worst to best, according to FactSet's adjusted numbers:

S&P 500 sector Total return - 2008

Financials -55%

Materials -46%

Information Technology -44%

Real Estate -42%

Industrials -40%

Energy -36%

Consumer Discretionary -34%

Communications Services -32%

Utilities -30%

Health Care -23%

Consumer Staples -16%

S&P 500 Index -37%

Dow Jones Industrial Average -32%

Nasdaq Composite Index -41%

Source: FactSet

All of this means you need to look at various time periods when comparing past performance and take a broad view. The special circumstances of the 2008 credit crisis mean 10-year return figures may not be meaningful today. The sector performance also underscores how Aesop's "The Tortoise and the Hare" can apply to modern life.

Don't miss:These are the top stock picks for 2019 among Wall Street analysts (

Create an email alert for Philip van Doorn's Deep Dive columns here (

-Philip van Doorn; 415-439-6400;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 04, 2019 07:22 ET (12:22 GMT)

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