Rite Aid Can’t Get It Right (RAD, CVS, WAG)

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Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) is indicated to open lower after the company posted another net loss for the quarter.  It also lowered guidance for a second time.  We just noted this one as a turnaround stock that has yet to turn around, and this proves that even more true.

Its $93 million net loss came in at -$0.12 EPS, while First Call was looking for only -$0.07 EPS targets. revenues came in at $6.52 Billion, also under the $6.6 Billion estimate.  To top it off, Rite Aid said a slow cold and flu season was having an impact.

As far as guidance, that is lower. It now expects to lose $161 to $192 million for fiscal 2008, a wider loss than its prior range of $78 to $161 million. It targets fiscal 2008 sales between $24.3 and $24.6 billion, under the September forecast of $24.5 to $25.1 billion.

Last night Jim Cramer noted the difference on execution between CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) and Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) with CVS being the clear winner.  Imagine what you’d have to say about the execution here.  This one had been one of Cramer’s Top 9 Picks for 2007, but its turnaround stumbled.  Hell, it’s falling off the cart.

Rite Aid shares are now indicated down almost 10% at $3.70 in crummy pre-market trading.  Its 52-week trading range is $3.44 to $6.74.  That hurts.

Jon C. Ogg
December 20, 2007

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