Rite Aid first-quarter loss narrower than expected

Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:48am EDT

(Reuters) - Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N) reported a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss and said its full-year loss might not be as deep as previously feared, helping send its shares higher in premarket trading.

The No. 3 U.S. drugstore chain now expects a net loss of 13 cents to 29 cents per share for fiscal 2013. Its prior forecast called for a loss of 13 cents to 31 cents per share.

Still, it trimmed its 2013 sales forecast to a range of $25.3 billion to $25.7 billion, from a prior estimate of $25.4 billion to $25.8 billion, as generic drug introductions are expected to crimp pharmacy sales.

For the first quarter the company reported a loss of $28.1 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a loss of $63.1 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 1.2 percent to $6.5 billion.

Analysts on average expected a loss of 4 cents per share on revenue of $6.42 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Rite Aid said it benefited from strong growth in same-store prescription sales in the quarter.

Rite Aid shares rose 5 cents to $1.22 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore and Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Viraj Nair and John Wallace)