January 3, 2018 / 9:59 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Rite Aid misses revenue estimate, shares fall

(Adds share move, third-quarter details)

Jan 3 (Reuters) - Drug retailer Rite Aid on Wednesday posted smaller-than-expected quarterly revenue due to a fall in reimbursement rates and a drop in comparable-store sales.

Shares of the company fell 5.6 percent to $2.01 after the bell. The stock has fallen over 45 percent since June, when Walgreens scrapped its deal to buy Rite Aid outright after failing to win antitrust approval.

Rite Aid's same-store sales fell 2.5 percent, dropping for the sixth straight quarter.

Retail pharmacy sales dropped 3 percent, while pharmacy services revenue fell 12.2 percent.

Rite Aid has been struggling with eroding profits in its pharmacy business, which sells prescription drugs, as increases in branded drug prices have slowed while reimbursement pressure for generics has intensified.

The Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based company's total revenue fell 5.6 percent to $5.35 billion, missing analysts' average estimate of $7.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Rite Aid's net income jumped to $81.03 million, or 8 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Dec. 2, from $15.01 million, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Rite Aid broke even on a per-share basis, while analysts had expected a loss of 2 cents. (Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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