Rite Aid Lowers 2011 Sales Forecast on `Sluggish Economy'; Shares Decline

Rite Aid Corp., the third-largest U.S. drugstore chain, reduced its sales forecast for the year, sending the shares down as much as 11 percent.

Sales will amount to as much as $25.4 billion, the Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based company said today in a statement. That compared with a previous top target of $25.6 billion. The company also posted a wider second-quarter loss than analysts projected.

Sales fell 2.5 percent in the quarter ended Aug. 28, hurt by a “sluggish economy,” Rite Aid said. The chain, led by Chief Executive Officer John Standley, has more than 4,700 stores across the U.S.

Rite Aid fell 15 cents, or 14 percent, to 95 cents at 9:42 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had fallen 27 percent this year before today.

The second-quarter loss widened to $199.3 million, or 23 cents a share, from $120.4 million, or 14 cents, a year earlier. Analysts on average projected 16 cents.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Thomson in New York at ithomson2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at Rajello@bloomberg.net

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