Rite Aid ( RAD) posted a 1.8% jump in April same-store sales, buoyed by the Easter holiday.

During the month, sales of non-pharmacy merchandise grew 3.2%, while pharmacy sales were up 1.2%.

Total drugstore sales for the four-week period were flat at $2 billion. Prescription revenue accounted for 68% of drugstore sales, and third-party prescription revenue represented 96% percent of pharmacy sales. Results also received a boost from the closure of 180 under-performing stores.

Shares soared 10% in afternoon trading to 95 cents. The company was trading as low as 20 cents in March. The drugstore is planning a reverse stock split this summer in order to boost its share price.

In its fourth quarter, Rite Aid doubled its loss due to the recession, along with a fairly mild cold-and-flu season and the introduction of new low-cost generic drugs.

Since the beginning of the swine flu outbreak, shares of Rite Aid have soared nearly 30%.
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