UPDATE 2-Rite Aid posts wider-than-expected Q1 loss, shares sink
(Adds conference call details in paragraph 10, share movement)
June 26 (Reuters) - Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N: Quotazione), the No. 3 U.S. drugstore chain, posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by higher operating costs and acquisition-related expenses, sending its shares to their lowest in at least two decades.
Separately, Rite Aid also said it was offering $425 million of senior secured notes due in 2016, which is part of a previously announced refinancing of about $700 million of debt.
Charges related to the refinancing could impact net loss and loss per share, the company added.
Rite Aid shares, which have lost more than three-quarters of their market value since hitting a 52-week high of $6.51 in June last year, plunged 15 percent to a low of $1.48 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.
For the first quarter ended May 31, the company reported a net loss of $156.6 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with a profit of $27.6 million, or 4 cents a share, a year earlier.
However, revenue jumped 49 percent to $6.61 billion, boosted by sales at Brooks and Eckerd drugstores, which it acquired from Canada's Jean Coutu Group Inc (PJCa.TO: Quotazione) in 2007 to compete better with larger rivals Walgreen Co WAG.N and CVS Caremark (CVS.N: Quotazione).
Analysts on average expected a loss of 10 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $6.67 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.
The company said expenses related to the Brooks and Eckerd deal included an increase in depreciation and amortization expense of $77.1 million, additional interest expense of $49.5 million and a rise in integration expense of $33.3 million. Continua...