Rite Aid Surges as It Narrows Loss - TheStreet

Rite Aid Surges as It Narrows Loss

Rite Aid narrows its first-quarter loss, sending shares soaring before the bell.
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) --

Rite Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

is spiking at Wednesday's opening bell after it surprisingly narrowed its first-quarter loss.

The drugstore lost $73.7 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with a loss of $98.4 million, or 11 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected a loss of 14 cents a share for Rite Aid.

As a result, shares of Rite Aid are surging 8.9% to $1.10 in pre-market trading.

The company attributed the better-than-expected results to cost cuts, with expenses down 5% to $1.62 billion.

Revenue declined 2% to $6.39 billion from $6.53 billion, while same-store sales dropped 1%. Pharmacy revenue fell 0.9%, while front-end sales of discretionary items, like cosmetics and food, slipped 1.3%.

Rite Aid reaffirmed its full-year outlook of a loss between $355 million and $570 million, or 41 cents to 65 cents per share, in-line with analysts' estimates.

Rite Aid is in the process of preparing for a shift in management, as Chief Operating Officer John Standley will become CEO this week. Standley replaces Mary Sammons, who was at the helm of the company for seven years.

On Tuesday, rival




disappointing third-quarter results

, as earnings decreased 11% to $463 million, or 47 cents a share. The drugstore attributed the decline to costs related to the purchase of Duane Reade, the milder cold and flu season, and health-care reform expenses.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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