Rite Aid key revenue metric dips in March

Associated Press

CAMP HILL, Pa. (AP) -- Rite Aid's revenue from stores open at least a year fell 2 percent in March, as cheaper generic drugs continued to hurt the drugstore operator's performance.

The company said Thursday that pharmacy revenue from stores open at least a year for the four weeks ended March 30 declined 4.5 percent, weighed down by new generic drugs. Revenue from the front end, or rest of the store, rose 3.8 percent thanks mostly to a shift in Easter from April to March.

Revenue from stores open at least a year is a key indicator of a retailer's health, because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Total drugstore sales for the month fell 2.5 percent to about $1.94 billion. Prescription sales made up 67.6 percent of drugstore sales. Pharmacy sales were comprised mostly of third-party prescription sales.

Rite Aid Corp., which is based in Camp Hill, Pa., had 4,621 stores as of March 30.

In morning trading, Rite Aid shares slipped 4 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $1.71. The stock has changed hands between 95 cents and $1.95 in the past 52 weeks.