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S&P 500   4,026.12
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Considerations When Rolling Over a 401(k) into a Roth IRA
THE BEST BLACK FRIDAY DEAL YET (Ad)
Biden eases Venezuela sanctions as opposition talks resume
Whole Foods decision to pull lobster divides enviros, pols
THE BEST BLACK FRIDAY DEAL YET (Ad)
Airbnb has a plan to fix cleaning fees
Saudi viewers angry over apparent ban on World Cup streaming
THE BEST BLACK FRIDAY DEAL YET (Ad)
Cuba's informal market finds new space on growing internet
Railway workers in Austria to strike Monday in pay standoff
S&P 500   4,026.12
DOW   34,347.03
QQQ   286.92
Considerations When Rolling Over a 401(k) into a Roth IRA
THE BEST BLACK FRIDAY DEAL YET (Ad)
Biden eases Venezuela sanctions as opposition talks resume
Whole Foods decision to pull lobster divides enviros, pols
THE BEST BLACK FRIDAY DEAL YET (Ad)
Airbnb has a plan to fix cleaning fees
Saudi viewers angry over apparent ban on World Cup streaming
THE BEST BLACK FRIDAY DEAL YET (Ad)
Cuba's informal market finds new space on growing internet
Railway workers in Austria to strike Monday in pay standoff
S&P 500   4,026.12
DOW   34,347.03
QQQ   286.92
Considerations When Rolling Over a 401(k) into a Roth IRA
THE BEST BLACK FRIDAY DEAL YET (Ad)
Biden eases Venezuela sanctions as opposition talks resume
Whole Foods decision to pull lobster divides enviros, pols
THE BEST BLACK FRIDAY DEAL YET (Ad)
Airbnb has a plan to fix cleaning fees
Saudi viewers angry over apparent ban on World Cup streaming
THE BEST BLACK FRIDAY DEAL YET (Ad)
Cuba's informal market finds new space on growing internet
Railway workers in Austria to strike Monday in pay standoff

Rite-Aid Sings a Familiar Tune That Investors Don’t Want to Hear

Key Points

  • Rite Aid stock is down over 30% for the week ending September 30 after a disastrous earnings report. 
  • The company continues to cut costs but that can only take it so far.  
  • The company presents too much risk in this risk-off market. 
Rite-Aid Sings a Familiar Tune That Investors Don’t Want to Hear

Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) needed to deliver some magic to investors. A strong earnings report would have helped. Instead, the beleaguered pharmacy chain tried its best to put a happy face on a lousy earnings report. Unfortunately, that’s a familiar tune that sends a sour note to investors.  

In September 2020, several experts viewed the stock as a cautious buy largely due to its role as an essential partner in COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.  

However, even by the end of 2021, the company’s lack of growth was evident. It was playing defense but would have to show investors how it could grow revenue.  

Declining sequential and year-over-year revenue and earnings in the last two quarters does not give investors much to hope for. Will Rite Aid stock ever recover?

Concerns Re-Emerge About the Company's Debt 

Back in 2017, Rite-Aid sold about half of its stores to Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) for $4.375 billion. The company needed the deal to help reduce what was at the time a debt load of around $7 billion.  


The company reported a debt load of about half of that (approximately $3.2 billion) at the end of the last quarter. The company’s own documents show that it has no debt due until 2025 with $ 1.85 billion in liquidity. The company even expresses optimism that it will be free cash flow positive in 2023.  

But the company’s revenue is down significantly from 2017 levels. On the one hand, it makes sense because the company has fewer stores, but if it used a significant portion of the $4.3 billion to pay off debt, the math still suggests that the company is still struggling to generate revenue while it... wait for it... closes more stores

It may be a necessary strategy, but at some point, the company will have to show that it can play offense.  

The Elixir Isn’t Working 

Part of the company’s growth plan was going to be from Elixir, the company’s pharmacy benefits manager. So far, Elixir hasn’t been a magical solution unless the magic involves making $252 million disappear. 

That’s the amount the company took as a goodwill impairment change in the quarter based on what the company termed “a change in our estimate of lives for next year.” 

Put another way, revenue for Elixir decreased by 9% ($171 million). The unit did increase its profits as measured by EBITDA to $47.1 million from $36.8 million. However, it did so because of an improvement in operating expenses — in other words, more defense.  

RAD Stock Needs to Show Investors More 

The two analysts tracked by MarketBeat give RAD stock a "sell" rating. Other analysts forecast about a 40% "buy" rating. Even in this market, having such a negative sentiment about a stock can tell you a lot.  

Rite Aid is facing an uphill battle as competition grows and margins become tighter. The stock is cheap, but sometimes stocks are cheap for a reason. Unless Rite Aid can show that it has a more solid strategy in place, investors may want to stay away.   

Should you invest $1,000 in Rite Aid right now?

Before you consider Rite Aid, you'll want to hear this.

MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Rite Aid wasn't on the list.

While Rite Aid currently has a "Reduce" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.

View The Five Stocks Here

Companies Mentioned in This Article

CompanyMarketRank™Current PricePrice ChangeDividend YieldP/E RatioConsensus RatingConsensus Price Target
Rite Aid (RAD)
1.1063 of 5 stars
$5.43+2.8%N/A-0.34Reduce$3.75
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
2.4246 of 5 stars
$41.66-0.2%4.61%8.33Hold$43.23
Compare These Stocks  Add These Stocks to My Watchlist 

Chris Markoch

About Chris Markoch

Contributing Author: Retirement, Individual Investing

Chris Markoch is a freelance financial copywriter with over five years of experience covering various aspects of the financial markets. You may find his writing a little different than other stock articles you’ve read. And that’s OK with him. Chris doesn’t have a traditional finance background. What he does bring to the table is a strong business and marketing background having worked for agencies that serviced Fortune 500 companies. With that in mind, he isn’t overly impressed with what companies say, and more focused on what they do. And because buyer behavior dictates so much of what happens with a stock, Chris always keeps the end consumer close in mind. Chris has been writing for MarketBeat since 2018.

Contact Chris Markoch via email at CTMarkoch@msn.com.