Rite Aid posts smaller-than-expected 1Q loss

By the Associated Press | June 23, 2011 | 7:44 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp. is reporting a smaller fiscal first-quarter loss as its sales held steady.

The Camp Hill, Pa., says it lost $65.5 million, or 7 cents per share, in the three months ended May 28. A year ago it lost $76 million, or 9 cents per share. Its revenue was unchanged at $6.39 billion.

Analysts expected a wider loss of 12 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Rite Aid says there are now almost 40 million members in its Wellness Plus customer rewards program.

The company backed its fiscal 2012 forecasts, saying it expects to lose 42 to 64 cents per share on $25.7 billion to $26.1 billion in revenue.

Analysts expect a loss of 54 cents per share and $25.56 billion in revenue on average.