Rite Aid November, 3Q Sales Lower on New Generics, Slow Flu Season


Pharmacy giant Rite-Aid (NYSE:RAD) said its November and third-quarter sales fell on a slow cold and flu season and new generics, pushing its shares marginally lower Thursday.

The drugstore chain posted total sales for the five-week period ended Nov. 27 of $2.37 billion, down 2.3% from $2.43 billion in the same period last year.

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Same-store sales gained 1.3% during the month, lifted fully by stronger front-end sales, as pharmacy sales remained flat from the year-earlier period.

Pharmacy sales took a 2.5% hit from the introduction of new generic medications, hurt further by a 1.9% decline in prescriptions filled.

Rite-Aid said both front end and pharmacy same store sales continue to be negatively impacted by a weaker cough, cold and flu season compared with the same month in 2009.

For the third-quarter ended last week, comparable store sales fell 1.3%, hurt by flat front-end sales and a 1.9% drop in pharmacy sales.

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