Rite Aid Profit Beats, But Sales Fall Slightly Short

By Ciara LinnaneMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Rite Aid Corp. said Thursday it had net income of $14.8 million, or 1 cent a share, in its second fiscal quarter to Aug. 27, down from $21.5 million, or 2 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 3 cents, ahead of the FactSet consensus of 2 cents. Revenue rose 4.8% to $8.0 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $8.2 billion. Same-store sales rose 2.5% to beat the FactSet consensus of 1.9%. Chief Executive John Standley said the company's pharmacy services business had a good quarter at the front end. "We also saw improvements in prescription drug costs, but these improvements were more than offset by the challenging reimbursement rate environment, which we expect to continue through the remainder of the fiscal year," he said. The company will continue to pursue growth opportunities in its flu immunization campaign and convert additional stores to its Wellness format. It is expecting its takekover by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. to be completed in the second half. Shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but are up 3.3% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.8%.

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