Drugstore chain retailer,
Rite Aid Corporation
) same-store sales (comps) for the four weeks ended December 29,
2012 slipped 2.2%. The fall was an outcome of a decline in
pharmacy and front-end comps.
Despite a 4.4% increase in prescription counts, Pharmacy comps
for December declined 2.9% primarily due to a negative impact of
around 605 basis points from new generic drug introductions. An
increase of 1.7% in flu-related prescriptions and flu shots
primarily prompted the growth in prescription counts. Further,
the shift in holiday calendar resulted in a dip of 1.0% in
Rite Aid reported total drugstore sales of $2.054 billion for
the month, with prescription sales accounting for 62.9% of
drugstore sales and third-party prescription sales making up for
96.6% of pharmacy sales. The company's December sales declined
2.7% from the year-ago level of $2.112 billion.
Year-to-date, i.e. for the 43-week period ended on December
29, the company's comps were up by a modest 0.1%, while net sales
slipped 0.6% year over year to $20.913 billion. The increase in
comps mainly came from a 1.4% increase in front-end comps
partially offset by a 0.6% decrease in pharmacy comps.
Prescription sales comprised 67.4% of total sales. Additionally,
third-party prescription sales accounted for 96.6% of pharmacy
) also reported a dull month with December 2012 sales declining
4.0% on a year-over-year basis to gross $6.99 billion. The
company's overall comps declined 6.1%, primarily due to declines
of 8.9% and 2.3% in pharmacy and front-end comps,
Rising estimates over the last 30 days - basically due to the
company's solid third-quarter fiscal 2013 results and raised
bottom-line outlook - have helped Rite Aid to achieve Zacks #1
Rank, implying a short-term Strong Buy rating.
The company, in December 2012, reported better-than-expected
quarterly results for the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Rite
Aid's earnings of 7 cents per share fared better than the
prior-year quarter's loss of 6 cents as well as the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of a loss of 4 cents a share. The company's
total revenue of $6.238 billion also swept past the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $6.209 billion.
Bolstered by strong quarterly performance, the company raised
its outlook for fiscal 2013, anticipating loss/earnings per share
in between a loss per share of 5 cents and earnings per share of
3 cents, up from the previous guidance of loss per share between
9 cents to 23 cents.
Following the company's revised guidance, all of the 5
estimates have been lifted upward bringing the current Zacks
Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2013 to a loss per share of a
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