July 3 Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N), the No. 3 U.S. drugstore chain, said June sales at stores open at least one year fell 0.4 percent, hurt by lower sales at its Brooks and Eckerd drugstores.
Pharmacy same-store sales dropped 0.5 percent, hurt by generic drug introductions and the switch of allergy medicine Zyrtec to over-the-counter status, while front-end same store sales fell 0.2 percent.
Two analysts, on average, expected a 0.5 percent drop in June same-store sales, with a 0.5 percent fall in front-end sales and a 0.7 decrease in pharmacy sales, according to Thomson Reuters Estimates.
June same-store sales include the acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd stores, which Rite Aid bought in 2007 to compete better with larger rivals Walgreen Co WAG.N and CVS Caremark (CVS.N).
Walgreen reported a 3.4 percent rise in June same-store sales on Wednesday. It also said pharmacy same-store sales were hurt by the introduction of generic drugs and the shift of Zyrtec to over-the-counter status. Rite Aid said excluding the Brooks and Eckerd stores, June same-store sales rose 2.6 percent over the prior-year period, with pharmacy same-store sales rising 2.5 percent and front-end same-store sales growing 2.9 percent.
Prescription revenue accounted for 66.5 percent of total sales for June. Total sales fell 2.5 percent to $2.02 billion, the company said.
Shares of the Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based company were up about 1.5 percent at $1.38 in early morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Anne Pallivathuckal in Bangalore; Editing by Bernard Orr)
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