Rite Aid Rises to the Challenge in Q4

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Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Thursday. The company said that it had a net loss of $0.01 per share on $5.39 billion in revenue. Consensus estimates had called for a net loss of $0.01 per share on revenue of $5.57 billion. In the fourth quarter of last year, it said it had breakeven earnings on $8.54 billion in revenue.

Retail Pharmacy Segment revenues were $4.0 billion and decreased 10.1% compared to the prior-year period, primarily as a result of a decline in same-store sales. Revenues in the Pharmacy Services Segment were $1.4 billion, a decrease of 4.3%, which was due to a decline in commercial business and changes in its composition of Medicare Part D membership.

Same-store sales from Retail Pharmacy continuing operations for the quarter decreased 1.7% over the prior year, consisting of a 2.3% decrease in pharmacy sales and a 0.6% decrease in front-end sales.

As of March 27, Rite Aid has completed the sale of all 1,932 stores and related assets to Walgreens. The transfer of the three distribution centers and related inventory is expected to begin after September 1, 2018.

Looking ahead to the fiscal full year, the company expects sales to be between $21.7 billion and $22.1 billion with EPS in the range of $0.02 to $0.06. The consensus forecast is $0.03 in EPS on $21.7 billion in revenue.

John Standley, Rite Aid board chair and chief executive, commented:

During the fourth quarter, we made significant progress in a number of areas: our Retail Pharmacy Segment delivered strong results with an increase in Adjusted EBITDA over the prior year; our Pharmacy Services Segment is off to a strong start in the new commercial selling season; shortly after the quarter ended, we completed the asset sale of 1,932 stores to WBA; and we entered into a definitive merger agreement with Albertsons Companies to transform Rite Aid into a truly differentiated leader in food, health and wellness.

Shares of Rite Aid traded up more than 3% to $1.69 Wednesday morning, with a consensus analyst price target of $2.04 and a 52-week range of $1.38 to $4.61.