Rite Aid Shares Slump as Sales, Store Count Fall

By Aisha Al-Muslim Features Dow Jones Newswires

Rite Aid Corp. reported its earnings rose despite a decline in same-store sales as the drug-store operator continued to transfer a chunk of its stores to Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. in their sale agreement.

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The Camp Hill, Pa., company on Wednesday reported a profit of $81 million in the third quarter, or 8 cents a share, up from $15 million, or 1 cent a share, a year earlier.

Shares fell 6.6% in after-hours trading.

Excluding items such as discontinued operations and other expenses, Rite Aid earned $1.6 million, or zero cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast an adjusted loss of 2 cents a share.

Revenue dropped 5.6% to $5.35 billion, compared with $5.67 billion a year earlier.

Same-store sales from continuing operations fell 2.5% in the quarter from the prior year.

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Retail pharmacy-segment revenue decreased 3% to $4 billion, primarily on a decrease in same-store sales and reimbursement rates. Revenue in its pharmacy-services segment fell 12% to $1.4 billion on lower participation in Medicare Part D regions and a decline in its commercial business.

Under their agreement, Walgreens will purchase 1,932 stores, three distribution centers and other inventory from Rite Aid for about $4.38 billion in cash. On Wednesday, Rite Aid said it had transferred 357 stores to Walgreens and received about $715 million, which Rite Aid has used to pay down debt.

Write to Aisha Al-Muslim at aisha.al-muslim@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 03, 2018 18:04 ET (23:04 GMT)