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Rite Aid Posts Wider-Than-Expected Fiscal Fourth-Quarter Loss

Rite Aid posts a wider-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter loss amid what it says was a 'soft' cold and flu season thanks to pandemic-related hygiene diligence.

Rite Aid  (RAD) - Get Rite Aid Corporation Report on Thursday posted a wider-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter loss amid what it said was an uncharacteristically “soft” cold and flu season thanks to consumer hygiene diligence amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rite Aid said it posted a fiscal fourth-quarter loss from continuing operations of $18.5 million, or 34 cents a share, vs. an adjusted loss from continuing operations of $41.8 million, or 78 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting a loss of 90 cents a share.

Adjusted earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $41.3 million, or 0.7% of revenue, Rite Aid said. Revenue came in at $5.92 billion vs. $5.73 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting revenue of $5.8 billion.

"We remain very optimistic about the direction of Rite Aid, despite a fourth quarter that was impacted by a historically soft cough, cold and flu season, the deferral of elective procedures and related acute prescription volume and the impact of COVID-19 on selling, general and administrative expenses," CEO Heyward Donigan said.

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For its first quarter of fiscal 2022, Rite Aid said earnings will be “significantly” impacted by the number of COVID-19 vaccinations administered during the quarter, "... and the related benefit to revenues and gross profit, partially offset by incremental costs to administer these vaccines.”

The company now expects total revenue of between $6.1 billion and $6.3 billion in the first quarter, with retail pharmacy segment same-store sales expected to range from a decrease of 9% to a decrease of 7% compared to fiscal 2021. On a net basis, the company is projecting to either lose $10 million or earn $10 million.

Adjusted EBITDA is projected to be between $115 million and $140 million.

At last check, shares of Rite Aid were down 6.25% at $17.86. On Jan. 28, the shares set a 52-week high of $32.48.