* Q2 EPS $0.13, ex-items, vs est. $0.13
* Q2 Rev $434.2 mln vs est $444.5 mln
* Sees Q3 EPS $0.18-$0.21 vs est. $0.20
* Sees Q3 sales up 1-3 pct
Discount-store operator Fred's Inc (FRED.O) reported a second-quarter profit in line with Wall Street estimates, as lower expenses offset a worse-than-expected sales decline.
The company, which sells household cleaning supplies, health and beauty aids, paper products and beverages among other items, forecast third-quarter earnings per share of 18 to 21 cents a share. [ID:nWNAB4217]
Analysts on average were looking for a profit of 20 cents a share on revenue of $430 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
For the second quarter ended Aug. 1, Fred's net profit rose to $4.2 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with $1 million or 3 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, it earned 13 cents a share, matching analysts' expectations.
Sales for the quarter were $434.2 million, missing Wall Street estimates of $444.5 million.
Sales at stores open at least a year fell 1.3 percent.
Selling, general and administrative expenses for Fred's, which closed 74 underperforming stores and 23 underperforming pharmacies last year, fell 8 percent to $106.1 million.
Shares of the Memphis, Tennessee-based company closed at $13.57 Wednesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Viraj Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)