* Loss $0.05/share vs Wall Street view loss $0.07/share
* Sees FY loss $0.09-$0.23, prior view loss $0.13-$0.29
* Shares down 4.6 percent
Sept 20 Rite Aid Corp reported a
smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday as cheaper
generic drugs helped pharmacy gross margins, but the drugstore
chain cut its full-year sales forecast.
Shares of Rite Aid, which trails larger U.S. rivals Walgreen
Co and CVS Caremark Corp, fell nearly 5 percent.
Rite Aid, which is remodeling hundreds of stores and closing
others, is stepping up its marketing efforts in the second half
of the year to lure shoppers with its wellness+ loyalty card and
by trying to give more flu shots. The push comes as Walgreen is
just bringing out its loyalty card and other major chains are
trying to win over shoppers with such tactics.
Rite Aid said its loss had narrowed to $38.8 million, or 5
cents a share, in the second quarter ended on Sept. 1 from $92.3
million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected a loss of 7 cents per
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
While lower-priced generic drugs hurt sales, they are
typically more profitable for drugstores than their name-brand
Revenue declined to $6.23 billion from $6.27 billion as the
company closed stores. Sales at stores open at least a year were
flat overall, with a 1.4 percent increase for general
merchandise and a 0.7 percent drop at pharmacy counters.
Still, Rite Aid filled about 4 percent more prescriptions in
its existing stores as it drew some of the patients who could
not fill their Express Scripts Holding Co prescriptions
at Walgreens stores during those companies' now-resolved
Rite Aid said it expected a fiscal-year loss of 9 cents to
23 cents per share. In June, it had forecast a loss of 13 cents
to 29 cents, and analysts were expecting a loss of 15 cents.
The company lowered its 2013 sales forecast, to a range of
$25.1 billion to $25.4 billion from a June outlook of $25.3
billion to $25.7 billion. It expects same-store sales to be down
1 percent to up 0.25 percent, compared with a forecast in June
of down 0.5 to up 1 percent.
Rite Aid shares were down 4.6 percent at $1.25 in morning