Rite Aid tops 2Q earnings and revenue expectations

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Shares of Rite Aid tumbled Thursday after the nation's third-largest drugstore chain lowered its annual profit forecast again and reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that tumbled 83 percent partly on debt retirement and deal costs.

The Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, company now expects fiscal 2016 earnings to range between 12 cents and 19 cents per share after lowering the forecast in June to 14 cents to 22 cents per share.

Analysts were looking for earnings of 19 cents per share on average, according to FactSet.

For the second-quarter, Rite Aid earned $21.5 million, down from $129.2 million a year ago when it booked a roughly $40 million benefit from a drug purchasing and delivery deal with McKesson.

Earnings adjusted for one-time items totaled 4 cents per share in the latest quarter.

That topped Wall Street expectations by a penny, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Rite Aid booked a $33.2 million loss on debt retirement in the quarter, and its earnings also were hit by costs tied to its acquisition of the pharmacy benefits manager EnvisionRx. Rite Aid completed that $2 billion deal in June.

Pharmacy benefits managers deal with prescription drug costs, a growing concern for employers and insurers. Rite Aid expects the acquisition of Twinsburg, Ohio-based EnvisionRx to help it fill more prescriptions for specialty drugs, expensive medicines that are now a growing source of revenue for drugstore chains and pharmacy benefit managers.

Rite Aid's revenue climbed more than 17 percent to $7.66 billion in the quarter, helped by a $1.1 billion contribution from the EnvisionRx business.

The chain ran 4,561 drugstores at the end of its second quarter, a total that trails only Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and CVS Health Corp.

Shares of Rite Aid Corp. fell 66 cents, or 7.7 percent, to $7.94 in morning trading Thursday. The stock had climbed 14 percent since the beginning of the year, as of Wednesday's close.


Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on RAD at http://www.zacks.com/ap/RAD

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