Drugstore chain retailer,
Rite Aid Corporation
) same-store sales (comps) for the four weeks ended Jan 26, 2013
inched up 0.3%. The rise was an outcome of an increase in
front-end comps, offset by a decline in pharmacy comps.
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Higher over-the-counter sales of flu-related products resulted in
a 4.2% rise in the company's front-end comps. Flu-related product
sales contributed 2.4% to the growth in front-end comps. Despite
a 5.0% increase in prescription counts at comparable stores,
Pharmacy comps for January declined 1.4%. Pharmacy comps for the
month was adversely impacted by about 665 basis points due to the
introduction of new generic drugs. An increase of 3.4% in
flu-related prescriptions and flu shots primarily prompted the
growth in prescription counts.
Rite Aid reported total drugstore sales of $1.914 billion for the
month, with prescription sales accounting for 68.9% of drugstore
sales and third-party prescription sales making up for 96.2% of
pharmacy sales. The company's January sales declined 0.5% from
the year-ago level of $1.923 billion.
Year-to-date, i.e. for the 47-week period ended on Jan 26, the
company's comps were up by a modest 0.1%, while net sales slipped
0.6% year over year to $22.826 billion. The increase in comps
mainly came from a 1.6% rise in front-end comps partially offset
by a 0.7% decrease in pharmacy comps. Meanwhile, prescription
count at comparable stores jumped 3.7%.
Prescription sales comprised 67.5% of total drugstore sales.
Additionally, third-party prescription sales accounted for 96.5%
of pharmacy sales.
Rising estimates over the last 60 days - basically due to the
company's solid third-quarter fiscal 2013 results and revised
bottom-line outlook - have helped Rite Aid to achieve a Zacks
Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Other drug store stocks that are performing well include
CVS Caremark Corporation
Cardinal Health Inc.
). These companies currently have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).