Rite Aid posts 2Q profit, results beat Wall Street estimates

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CAMP HILL, Pennsylvania — Rite Aid Corp. topped analyst expectations for its second quarter, but the drugstore chain's stock tumbled in premarket trading Thursday after it also dropped its fiscal 2015 earnings forecast due to an expected decrease in pharmacy profitability.

The Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, company said Thursday that earnings for the quarter that ended Aug. 30 more than quadrupled to $129.2 million, or 13 cents per share. That compares to $30 million, or 3 cents per share, last year.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings of 6 cents per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue climbed about 4 percent to $6.52 billion. That also topped analyst expectations, which were for $6.49 billion.

The company said it now expects earnings of 22 cents to 33 cents per share on revenue of between $26 billion and $26.3 billion. That compares to a forecast it made in June for earnings of 30 cents to 40 cents per share on $26 billion to $26.5 billion in revenue.

Rite Aid said it lowered its earnings forecast based on expected lower profitability from generic drugs, which are cheaper versions of brand-name drugs.

Analysts expect, on average, earnings of 34 cents per share on $26.3 billion in revenue, according to the data firm FactSet.

Rite Aid is the nation's third-largest drugstore chain with nearly 4,600 stores. Its stock was down 14.3 percent, or 95 cents, to $5.69 shortly before markets opened Thursday. The shares had already climbed 31 percent since the start of the year, as of Wednesday.

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