Rite Aid swings to profit, beats Street in healthy Q3

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Rite Aid storefront

Rite Aid Corp. has reason to be merry heading into the holidays.

The drugstore retailer reported net income of $52.3 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2019, compared to a net loss of $17.3 million during the same period a year earlier. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.54 were substantially higher than analyst projections of $.07 per share.

Rite Aid also surpassed Wall Street expectations with revenue of $5.46 billion, up slightly from $5.45 billion and ahead of a projected $5.42 billion. 

Same-store sales from retail pharmacy decreased 0.1%, with a negative impact from new generic introductions. Retail same-store pharmacy sales consisted of a 0.1% increase in pharmacy sales and a 0.5% decrease in front-end sales. Front-end same-store sales, excluding cigarettes and tobacco products, increased 1%.

“While we are pleased with these results, we have important work ahead of us to put our company on a path to long-term sustainable growth,” said Rite Aid CEO Heyward Donigan. “We will soon reveal our comprehensive strategy that revitalizes Rite Aid retail pharmacies as fresh and relevant, leveraging the trust and expertise of our pharmacists in meeting the unique health and wellbeing needs of our communities.”

Rite Aid is updating its fiscal 2020 outlook, and now expects revenues to be between $21.5 billion and $21.9 billion during the fiscal year, with same-store sales expected to range from flat to an increase of 1% over fiscal 2019. Net loss is expected to be between $174 million and $204 million. Adjusted net income per share is expected to be between $0.13 and $0.55.

Rite Aid operates over 2,400 retail pharmacy locations across 18 states.