Shares of Rite Aid surged 7.6% in premarket trade Thursday, after the drugstore chain reported fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that rose more than expected and raised its full-year outlook. For the quarter ended Nov. 29, earnings increased to $104.8 million, or 10 cents a share, from $71.5 million, or 4 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. That beat the FactSet consensus analyst estimate of 5 cents a share. Revenue grew to $6.7 billion from $6.4 billion, while same-store sales rose 5.4%, exceeding analyst estimates of $6.65 billion and 5.1%, respectively. For the full fiscal year, the company now expects earnings per share of 31 cents to 37 cents, revenue of $26.25 billion to $26.4 billion and same-store sales growth of 3.75% to 4.25%, compared with its previous projections of 22 cents to 33 cents, $26 billion to $26.3 billion and 3% to 4%, respectively. The stock has rallied 20% this year through Wednesday, compared with an 8.9% gain in the S&P 500.
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