Longs Drug Beats Estimates on Sales Growth - TheStreet

Longs Drug Stores

(LDG)

posted a first-quarter loss including an accounting change, but on a pro forma basis, the company beat estimates on higher sales.

The drugstore chain said its first-quarter loss, including a charge relating to an accounting change affecting amortization of goodwill, was $13.7 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with net income of $11.6 million, or 31 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding the charge, Longs earned $11.0 million, or 29 cents a share. On that basis, analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call were expecting 28 cents a share.

Total sales for the quarter were up 5.6% to $1.09 billion from $1.03 billion a year ago, in line with analyst estimates. Same-store sales grew by 4.3%, while pharmacy same-store sales were up by 8.4%.

In a press release, Longs said its results were driven by its "redesigned advertising program."

Looking ahead, the company said it now expects to see sales growth of 4% to 6% in the second quarter, with same-store sales growth of 3% to 5%. EPS is expected to be 27 cents to 31 cents, compared with First Call estimates of 31 cents. For the full year, Longs expects to see total sales growth of 2% to 4% with EPS of $1.25 to $1.35. Wall Street is looking for EPS of $1.28.

Shares of Longs closed at $32.09 Monday before the news.