Rite Aid Trims Q1 Loss

Front-end sales helped boost Rite Aid’s first quarter, one when it cut the company’s adjusted loss versus the period in the year past.

Rite Aid posted a company net loss from continuing operations of $72.7 million, or $1.36 per share, versus a net loss from continuing operations of $99.3 million, or $1.88 per share, in the year-before quarter. Adjusted for one time considerations, net loss from continuing operations was $2 million, or four cents per share, as compared to a $7.5 million, or 14 cents per share, in the quarter a year previous.

Rite Aid’s adjusted loss came in better than a MarketBeat-published analyst consensus estimate of a 54 cents per share adjusted loss.

Revenues from continuing operations for the quarter were $6.03 billion versus $5.37 billion in the prior-year period. Loss from continuing operations before income taxes was $80.7 million versus $92 million in the quarter a year earlier.

In Rite Aid’s retail pharmacy segment, comparable sales from continuing operations increased 6.6% in the quarter year over year, with front-end sales, including general merchandise, up 14.2% and up 16% without cigarette and tobacco revenue. General cleaning products, sanitizers, wipes, paper products, liquor, over-the-counter products and summer seasonal items drove the first-quarter comps.

Heyward Donigan, Rite Aid president and CEO, said, “Our retail pharmacy teams responded to the COVID-19 crisis by taking immediate action to maintain our supply chain and stay in stock, enhance our digital experience, quickly implement safety measures, keep our stores open and provide outstanding service, all of which helped us drive double-digit front-end sales growth and gain retail market share. In the pharmacy services segment, our full leadership team is now in place, and our team has made excellent progress in integrating the assets of EnvisionRxOptions, soon to be renamed Elixir, as we continue the integration with Rite Aid.”

She added that Rite Aid faced specific “challenges brought about by COVID-19, including the decline in acute prescriptions and increased costs incurred to assure the safety of our associates and customers. No matter the challenge, we can execute our strategy and deliver day-to-day operational excellence in the face of a pandemic. I am amazed by the passion and spirit of our more than 50,000 associates, who have come to work every day driven by a desire to help customers stay healthy and demonstrating the essential role of pharmacy in our communities. Thanks to their hard work, the fundamentals of our business are strong, and we are right on track with the launch of our new RxEvolution strategy. I am excited to continue this important work as we look to become a leading mid-market PBM, unlock the value of our pharmacists and revitalize our retail and digital experiences.”