Drugstore.com Narrows Loss

Drugstore.com ( DSCM) narrowed its quarterly loss on a 48% jump in sales.

The online health care outlet lost $4.57 million, or 6 cents a share, on $84.36 million in sales in the first quarter. A year ago, the company lost $5.64 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $57.08 million.

Drugstore's results essentially met the consensus of the two analysts surveyed by Reuters' MultexNet service. On average, those analysts expected the company to lose 6 cents a share on $83.60 million in sales. The company had projected a loss of $4 million to $5 million in the quarter.

But the company's guidance for the rest of the year was potentially troublesome for investors. The company forecast that it would post a loss of $4 million to $5 million in the second quarter on sales ranging from $85 million to $89 million. Assuming the company's share count remains the same, that net loss would translate into a loss of 5 cents to 6 cents a share in the quarter.

Meanwhile, analysts are expecting the company to lose 3 cents a share in the current quarter, on sales of about $90.06 million, according to MultexNet.

For the full year, Drugstore warned of a marginally wider-than-expected loss. The company now expects to lose $9.8 million to $13.8 million on sales ranging from $360 million to $390 million. Previously, Drugstore forecast that it would lose $9.5 million to $13.5 million this year.

The company's projected red ink translates into a per share loss of 13 cents to 19 cents, if its share count remains unchanged from the first quarter. Analysts had predicted the company would lose 12 cents a share this year on $377.79 million in sales.

Drugstore's stock traded slightly up on its report after hours, recently up 4 cents, or 0.8%, to $5.35. The company's stock closed regular trading off 13 cents, or 2.4%, to $5.31.

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