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Rite Aid Profit Falls

It sees the Eckerd deal closing next month.
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Rite Aid (RAD) - Get Rite Aid Corporation Report missed fourth-quarter earnings targets but said it expects to complete its acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd drug store chains from Canada's Jean Coutu next month.

The Camp Hill, Pa., pharmacy chain said it made $15 million, or a penny a share, for the quarter ended March 3, down from the year-ago $1.25 billion, or $1.83 a share. Year-ago earnings were boosted to the tune of $1.82 a share by a tax benefit.

Sales fell 4.4% from a year ago to $4.56 billion, with Rite Aid blaming the drop on this year's 13-week quarter as compared to a 14-week period last year. Same-store sales rose 3% from a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 2-cent profit on sales of $4.63 billion.

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Rite Aid said it expects to lose 11 to 23 cents a share for the year, including the acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd chains, on sales of $25.3 billion to $26 billion. The company said it expects the acquisition to add 18 to 20 cents a share to 2009 earnings.