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Rite Aid Q2 loss narrows, sales top Street; gives upbeat forecast

Rite Aid Corp. narrowed its quarterly loss as sales continued to rise during the pandemic.

The company also gave an upbeat outlook, citing expected strong demand for the flu shot and ongoing demand for prescriptions and other health-related products. 

Rite Aid’s net loss from continuing operations narrowed to $13.2 million, or $0.25 loss per share, in the quarter ended Aug. 29, compared with a loss of $79.3 million, or $1.49 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were $0.25 a share. Analysts had expected an adjusted loss of a penny a share.

Revenues rose 11% to $5.98 billion from $5.37 billion in the prior year’s quarter. The increase was driven by growth at both the retail pharmacy and pharmacy services segments, where sales rose 29.1% due to a membership increase of 259,000 in Medicare Part D. Retail-pharmacy segment sales rose 4.4% from the prior year, with same-store sales up 3.5%. 

For fiscal 2021, Rite Aid expects to post an adjusted net loss of between $190 million and $140 million and adjusted EBITDA of between $475 million and $525 million. On a per-share basis, the company is expecting to lose as much as 67 cents a share, or earn as much as 9 cents.

Same-store sales are expected to grow in the range of 3% to 4%, while overall sales are expected to range from $23.5 billion and $24 billion.

“We are pleased with our second-quarter performance as we delivered another quarter of strong results while making solid progress on our bold, new RxEvolution strategy,” said Heyward Donigan, president and CEO, Rite Aid. “Our retail pharmacists and associates have always been deeply committed to our communities, and they are doing a great job protecting our customers during a global pandemic. Thanks to them, Rite Aid continues to gain retail market share and increase both same-store prescription count and front-end sales.”

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