Rite Aid Inc. shares rose 3% in premarket trade Wednesday before easing back slightly, after the drug store chain reported better-than-expected profit for its fiscal fourth quarter. Rite Aid said it earned $1.84 billion, or $1.79 a share, in the quarter, up from $55.4 million, or 6 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The figure includes a $1.67 tax benefit, the company said in a statement. Revenue rose to $6.8 billion from $6.6 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 8 cents and revenue of $6.8 billion. Same-store sales rose 4.5% to match the FactSet consensus. "Our strong growth in same-store sales and prescription count as well as strong cost control helped drive continued profitability," Chief Executive John Standley said in a statement. For fiscal 2016, the company is expecting EPS of 19 cents to 27 cents, net of income tax expense of 13 cents to 18 cents. Sales are expected to range from $26.9 billion to $27.4 billion. Shares have gained 15.6% in the year to date, outperforming the S&P 500's 0.9% gain.
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