CVS Health to host job fair to staff Pittsburgh-area call centers
PITTSBURGH — Looking to fill more than 200 full-time positions, CVS Health on Friday announced a job fair here, set to take place in Monroeville, Pa., from 1-6 p.m. on Sept. 14. The positions are at the company’s Pittsburgh and Monroeville customer support inbound call centers.
"CVS Health is actively adding to its workforce to support increased demand from our growing customer base," CVS Health VP talent acquisition Jeffrey Lackey said. "The job fair is designed so interested candidates can learn more about our open positions, talk with existing employees and become part of a company helping people on their path to better health."
Open positions include customer service representatives to ield inbound calls from benefit members, as well as representatives to support inbound calls from specialty patients. It also will be recruiting for specialty processing pharmacy technicians, who will read and interpret prescriptions to ensure patients’ orders are processed accurately and efficiently. It also is looking for candidates in the Monroeville area with finance, medical billing, medical benefit verification, pharmacist, shipping and receiving and inventory experience.
"From my very first day on the job, it was clear to me that CVS Health was a 'caring' organization, and a company where I could grow and progress," customer care supervisor Lee Myers, who recently celebrated her 10 year anniversary with CVS Health, said. "I am proof that the company presents career opportunities to those who are willing to come in and show a high level of passion for caring for customers and patients."
The job fair will take place at the company’s Monroeville customer support call center, 105 Mall Blvd. More info can be found here.
Kroger Q2 sales up 3.9% to $27.6 billion
CINCINNATI — Kroger on Friday reported net earnings of $353 million, or $0.39 per diluted share, and identical supermarket sales growth, without fuel, of 0.7% in the second quarter of 2017, which ended Aug. 12.
"Through innovation, Kroger is redefining the food and grocery customer experience based on our core strengths," stated Rodney McMullen, chairman and CEO, Kroger. "Our second quarter results demonstrate the progress we've made. We returned to positive identical supermarket sales growth in the second quarter. We had strong growth in both loyal and total households. Traffic is up, unit movement is up, market share is up and our customers' price perception is excellent and continues to improve."
Kroger's net earnings for the second quarter last year were $383 million, or $0.40 per diluted share.
Total sales increased 3.9% to $27.6 billion in the second quarter compared to $26.6 billion for the same period last year. Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 3.8% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year.
Fred’s posts net loss in Q2, names new chairman
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s Pharmacy on Wednesday posted its financial results for its second quarter and the six-month period, both of which ended July 29 and saw the company posting net losses, as well as a dip in net sales. The company also appointed a new chairman, naming Heath Freeman to the position as Tom Tashjian retires, effective immediately.
For the second quarter, Fred’s saw a net loss of $29.5 million, which included a total of $30.1 million in charges after tax. About $11.3 million came from a valuation allowance against the company’s deferred tax asset resulting from its pretax loss in the second quarter; $2.8 million came from asset impairments and other expenses from the planned closure of 13 stores and pharmacy departments; $800,000 from other non-recurring charges; and $15.2 million from financing termination fees, prior period deferred expenses and other fees that the company incurred from its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid stores, as well as its growth strategy implementation and other legal and professional advisory fees.
The company’s net loss was larger than the $6.9 million loss it posted in Q2 2016, and the company saw a 4.1% drop in net sales, which $507.8 million. Its gross profit dropped from $128.1 million in 2016’s second quarter to $126 million this year. Comparable-store sales saw a much smaller decline than the year-ago period, only dipping 0.3%, compared with 2% last year. This year’s Q2 comps saw the negative 0.8% impact resulting from the sale of low productive discontinued inventory, the company said. Its operating loss of $28.1 million was equal to about 5.5% of its sales, compared with an operating loss of $10 million in the comparable period last year. The company’s earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortization swung to a loss of $16.8 million.
“Our overall comparable store sales represent the best quarterly performance in the past year,” CEO Mike Bloom said. “In addition, EPS and EBITDA, excluding non-operating charges, improved over the prior year period. We are starting to gain momentum and are seeing progress across the business.”
Bloom said that the company’s pharmacy segment has been improving, showing flat comp scripts in the year-to-day period, and increases in its generic dispensing rate and overall gross profit dollars per script. Its specialty division also is seeing sales growth as part of its expansion into new markets and the continued diversification of offered therapies. He said that the company’s general merchandise has seen a 60-basis-point improvement in comps compared with Q2 2016, in spite of continued difficulties in the consumables category.
For the six-month period, Fred’s saw a net loss of $66 million, compared with a net loss of $5.7 million in the first six months of 2016. Net sales in the first half of the year declined 3.6% to $1.04 billion, with comps declining 0.8% compared with a 0.6% decrease in the year-ago period. The comps for the six-month period included the negative 1.1% impact resulting from the sale of low productive discontinued inventory.
The company’s gross profit for the first six months of 2017 declined to $258.9 million, compared with the $269.5 million it brought in during the same period last year, which it said was the result of decreased sales from the closing of 39 underperforming stores. The company posted an operating loss of 6% of sales, totaling $62.3 million, compared with an $8.5 million operating loss in the first half of 2016.
As it continues with its efforts toward profitability, Fred’s also named a new chairman of its board of directors, onboarding founding member and president of Fred’s investor Alden Global Capital Heath Freeman to the position. He also is vice chairman of MediaNews Group, the nation’s second-largest newspaper business by circulation.
“Heath brings significant retail, turnaround, and financial expertise and we determined that as chairman, Heath will bring invaluable insights and experience as the Company continues to execute its turnaround strategy,” Bloom said. “Additionally, as president of Alden, the company’s largest investor, Heath brings a strong shareholder perspective to the role of Chairman. I am confident that under his leadership, coupled with the oversight of our high-quality and experienced Board, we will be well positioned to drive Fred’s long-term success.”
Freeman sits on the boar of private equities fitness business SLT Group and co-founded third-wave coffee company City of Saints Coffee Roasters in 2013. Before Alden, which he joined in 2007, Freeman was an investment analyst with Smith Management. He began his career as an analyst at boutique investment bank Peter J Solomon Co.
“I am pleased to assume the role of Chairman of the Fred’s Board,” Freeman said. “Fred’s has a strong platform and I look forward to continuing to work together with our Board members to support the management team as it executes the Company’s strategy to drive free cash flow and generate value for all shareholders.”
Freeman replaces retiring chairman Tom Tashjian.
“On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Tom for his dedicated service and many contributions to Fred’s over the past 16 years,” Bloom said. ”Our board and management team have significantly benefited from Tom’s exemplary leadership and we wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement.”