Year-to-date, Rite Aid stock is up more than 40% at $7.13, while Walgreen shares are up 27% to $73.18.
In the past several weeks, however, both companies' stocks have started to lose ground. One factor that may have curbed down these companies' progress is the weight of the past quarter.
So how did Rite Aid measure up to Walgreen?
The table below summarizes Rite Aid's progress in revenue, operating profits, profitability and number of stores in the past quarter.
Rite Aid didn't increase its sales in the past quarter, as indicated in the table below. Nonetheless, the company's sales per store increased by 0.8%, year over year. Based on the above, Rite Aid's decision to close a net of 34 stores in the past year offset the rise in sales per stores.
In other words, Rite Aid's efforts to improve its stores' performance are positively impacting revenue per store. But Rite Aid's profit margin per store continues to contract and it's currently less than half of Walgreen's profitability per store.
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In comparison, as the table below shows, Walgreen increased its sales by nearly 6% but even after controlling for the gain in number of stores, revenue per store inched up by 0.3% and the operating profit per store slid by 2%, year over year.
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So even though Rite Aid has done a better job in increasing its sales per store, its bottom line continues to dwindle.
Since Walgreen keeps extending its reach by opening new stores throughout the U.S while only slightly reducing its profit margin, the company is doing a better job in appreciating its value compared to Rite Aid.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.