Rite Aid reports unexpected profit of $9.83 million for second quarter

September 24, 2004|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

CAMP HILL, Pa. - Rite Aid Corp., the No. 3 U.S. drugstore chain, reported an unexpected second-quarter profit of $9.83 million as inventory costs and interest expenses declined.

The company said yesterday that it broke even on a per-share basis, compared with a loss of $10.6 million, or 4 cents, a year earlier. The drugstore chain was expected to post a loss of 2 cents.

Chief Executive Officer Mary Sammons is reducing debt incurred when the company's former management bought six chains beginning in 1995.

Rite Aid has been recovering from an accounting scandal that prompted the company to erase $1.6 billion in reported profit from 1998 to 2000.

"This is a company that three years ago could have died at any moment," said Sheldon Grodsky, president of South Orange, N.J.-based Grodsky Associates Inc. "The vital signs are better now."

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