Rite Aid Discloses 0.1% Drop in March Same-Store Sales

Hurt by sinking front-end sales, drug-store operator Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) revealed a 0.1% slip in March same-store sales, breaking a streak of three-straight winning months.

Rite Aid, which operates nearly 5,000 stores, blamed the lower same-store sales on a later Easter holiday this year compared with prior years.

Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite Aid said its same-store sales fell 0.1% in March amid a 1.8% drop in front-end sales. On the other hand, pharmacy same-store sales rose 0.8%.

Overall drug store sales slid 0.9% to $1.95 billion.

Rite Aid, which trails drug store leader Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) and No. 2 CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS), had posted three consecutive months of sales gains.

In the wake of the lower same-store sales, shares of Rite Aid fell 0.93% to $1.07 ahead of Thursday’s open. The bar had been set high as Rite Aid’s stock has soared more than 20% year-to-date.