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Rite Aid shares trading some 40% higher in week following 3Q conference call

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid’s fundamentals are improving, and Wall Street has taken notice. 

Rite Aid stock was up slightly by three cents late Thursday afternoon from its previous close of $1.41 per share. But shares were trading at $1.02 per share on Dec. 19, the day before Rite Aid announced third quarter results. 

As DSN reported last week, Rite Aid squarely beat analyst expectations, as the generic wave and retention of Express Scripts customers helped drive better-than-expected adjusted EBIDTA and produced the company’s first profitable quarter in five years.

The company posted a profit of $61.9 million compared with third-quarter 2012’s loss of $52 million. The chain’s last profitable quarter was first quarter 2008, reported in June 2007.

A big driver behind Rite Aid’s improvement can be linked to the chain’s Wellness+ loyalty card program, which had approximately 25 million active members in the quarter, a 5% increase over the same period a year ago. It was the Wellness+ loyalty program that Rite Aid executives credited for being able to retain the "vast majority" of patients gained through the Walgreens-ESI dispute. According to the company, prescriptions filled at stores open at least a year had gained by 3.6%.

 

 

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Rite Aid Foundation to donate $15K in food to 1199SEIU Child Care Corp.

BY Antoinette Alexander

CAMP HILL, Pa. — The Rite Aid Foundation has announced that it is making a donation of food items valued at $15,000 to the 1199SEIU Child Care Corp.

Items including pasta, soup, sauces, instant coffee, tea and other non-perishable food items will be delivered to the union’s warehouse in North Bergen, N.J., where they will then be distributed to member families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Rite Aid and 1199SEIU officials will receive the delivery at the warehouse on Dec. 28. 
 


“For the past two months, the people and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy have been focused on rebuilding. We know there is still much to be done and that’s why The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to make this donation to the 1199SEIU Child Care Corporation as it continues to provide much-needed relief to its members, including many of our associates, in their time of need," stated Ken Martindale, Rite Aid COO and president of The Rite Aid Foundation.
 

The 1199SEIU Child Care Corp. helps unionized healthcare workers represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East balance family and work responsibilities through affordable child care, youth and educational programs. More than 6,000 Rite Aid associates at 335 stores in New Jersey and New York are represented by 1199SEIU.
 


In October, The Rite Foundation donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, along with several truckloads of water, personal care and cleaning supplies to the most affected areas.  Last month, The Rite Aid Foundation also pledged an additional $50,000 to both the Empire State Relief Fund and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund to support the rebuilding efforts of the communities affected by the storm. 
 


The Rite Aid Foundation, founded in July 2001, is a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to helping people in the communities Rite Aid serves. Since its inception, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $14.3 million to approximately 1,250 organizations in 629 communities.

 

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Study: Drug shortage linked to greater relapse risk in young Hodgkin lymphoma patients

BY Jason Owen

MEMPHIS  — A national drug shortage has been linked to a higher rate of relapse among children, teenagers and young adults with Hodgkin lymphoma enrolled in a national clinical trial, according to research led by St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

The study found the estimated two-year cancer-free survival for patients enrolled in the study fell from 88% to 75% after the drug cyclophosphamide was substituted for mechlorethamine for treatment of patients with intermeidiate- or high-risk Hodgkin lymphoma. The study was launched before the drug shortages began.

The change occurred after a mechlorethamine shortage that began in 2009. No study patients have died, but relapsed patients needed additional intensive therapy associated with higher odds for infertility and other health problems.

The full analysis appears in the Dec. 27 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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