Rite Aid (RAD) Falls Despite February Pharmacy Sales Increase

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Rite Aid  (RAD) was falling 0.89% to $6.67 at 12:22 p.m. on Thursday despite the company's reporting same-store sales for February that featured an increase in total drugstore sales.

The company noted a 1.5% year-over-year increase in same-store sales in the five-week period in stores open at least one year. This is a crucial indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes stores that opened or closed in the last year. Front-end same store sales decreased 1.8%, and 0.5% stemmed from a decline in flu-related over-the-counter product sales thanks to a relatively mild flu season.

Total drugstore sales also increased 2.4% year over year to $2.515 billion from $2.457 billion. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 3.1%.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates RITE AID CORP as a "hold" with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate RITE AID CORP (RAD) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • RAD's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, RAD's share price has jumped by 316.04%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • RITE AID CORP's earnings per share declined by 42.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, RITE AID CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.12 versus -$0.42 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.21 versus $0.12).
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $244.01 million or 9.12% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 9.12%, RITE AID CORP is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -10.91%.
  • The gross profit margin for RITE AID CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 29.91%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 1.12% trails that of the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: RAD Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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