Rite Aid Posts Slimmer 2Q Loss, Boosts View

Rite Aid Corp's (NYSE:RAD) improving sales and efforts to trim operating costs helped narrow its quarterly loss, and the debt-saddled drugstore said it expected those trends to continue, forecasting a smaller loss for the full fiscal year.

Rite Aid, the third-largest U.S. drugstore operator, lost $94.7 million, or 11 cents per share, during the second quarter ended on Aug. 27, compared with a year-earlier loss of $199.3 million, or 23 cents a share.

That was below the 17-cent-per-share loss expected by Wall Street analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. But it was still Rite Aid's 17th straight quarterly loss.

Sales rose 1.8 percent to $6.27 billion, and sales at stores open at least a year rose 2.2 percent, the company said earlier this month.

Rite Aid said it now expected a loss of 40 cents to 56 cents per share for the fiscal year ending in February, compared to its earlier forecast of a loss of 42 cents to 64 cents.

The company last posted a quarterly profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. That quarter ended in May 2007.