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Rite Aid Tops Q4 Earnings, Walgreens Deal Blocks FY17 View

Rite Aid Corporation RAD, which is on track to acquire rival Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. WBA,  reported adjusted earnings of 7 cents a share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 that came a penny ahead of both the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the year-ago figure. Results gained from strong top-line growth, improvement in adjusted EBITDA, and solid contribution from the newly formed Pharmacy Services segment.

The company witnessed a 20.8% jump in total revenue to $8,270.1 million. However, the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8,468 million. The top-line miss is attributable to soft performance by the Retail Pharmacy segment, offset somewhat by the results of the Pharmacy Services segment.

Accounting for the previously announced Walgreens deal, the company did not provide its guidance for fiscal 2017.

Deeper Insight

Sales at the Retail Pharmacy Segment dipped 0.3% to $6,827 million, primarily due to a fall in comparable store sales (comps). Sales at the newly formed Pharmacy Services segment were $1,530.7 million.

The company’s comps fell 0.6%, owing to respective declines of 0.4% and 0.8% in front-end and pharmacy comps, wherein pharmacy comps included a negative impact of 241 basis points (bps) due to the introduction of new generic drugs. However, prescription count at comparable stores improved 0.1%. Prescription sales constituted 68.1% of total drugstore sales and third-party prescription sales accounted for 97.9% of pharmacy sales

Rite Aid’s adjusted EBITDA jumped 11.6% year over year to $383 million, whereas adjusted EBITDA margin contracted 40 bps to 4.6%. The rise in adjusted EBITDA, in dollar terms, was mainly due to strong adjusted EBITDA contributions from both Pharmacy Services and Retail Pharmacy.


Rite Aid, which trails CVS Health Corporation CVS in size, ended fiscal 2016 with cash and cash equivalents of $124.5 million, long-term debt (excluding current maturities) of $6,914.4 million, and total shareholders’ equity of $581.4 million.

In fourth quarter fiscal 2016, the company generated cash flow of $327.9 million from operating activities and incurred gross capital expenditure of nearly $165.2 million. For fiscal 2016, the company generated operating cash flows of $997.4 million, of which $682.6 million was used as gross capital expenditure.

Store Update

Rite Aid stores continue to undertake renovation, with 89 outlets remodeled and 10 relocated in the fiscal fourth quarter. Additionally, the company opened three stores and expanded one store. This brings the company’s total wellness stores count to 2,042. Further, the company acquired two stores and shuttered five stores during the reported quarter. Also, it opened three clinics, taking its total clinics count to 78.

In fiscal 2016, the company opened five new outlets, relocated 20, remodeled 412, acquired six, expanded two and closed 20 stores. Also, it opened 23 clinics in fiscal 2016. As of Feb 27, 2016, Rite Aid operated 4,561 stores across 31 states and the District of Columbia.

Zacks Rank

Rite Aid currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the broader retail sector is Target Corp. TGT, with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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WALGREENS BAI (WBA): Free Stock Analysis Report
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