Rite Aid Looks for Better Results
In October 2008, John Ransom, an analyst with Raymond James,
lamented the state of the stock market in an interview with The Associated
stocks have gotten destroyed lately, especially any company with a shaky balance
sheet. Rite Aid has the worst balance sheet of any company I follow."
for Rite Aid, the company’s shares — which closed at 52 cents on Oct. 7, 2008
— have since climbed back over the dollar mark. The drugstore chain even got
a boost this week when it reported a loss narrower than many had been predicting
for the chain.
John Standley, the former chief operating officer of Rite Aid
who took over as president and CEO of the company this week at the annual shareholders’
meeting, said in a recent press release, "During the quarter, we made
excellent progress on our initiatives. We nationally launched our new wellness
+ customer loyalty program, began immunization training that will more than
triple the number of Rite Aid pharmacists able to provide vaccinations and
introduced the first products in our revamped private brand program into the
stores. We expect these sales initiatives, along with the continued roll-out
of our segmentation strategy, to have a significant positive impact on our
business long term."
Even with the "good news" surrounding the
chain, Mr. Standley finds himself facing significant challenges as he replaces
Mary Sammons, who will stay on as chairman of the company for the next two
years. Ken Martindale, formerly senior executive vice president of merchandising,
marketing and logistics, is taking over Mr. Standley’s former position as chief
operating officer for Rite Aid.
According to a report by The Patriot-News,
union employees from California and Pennsylvania gathered outside the chain’s
annual shareholders’ meeting this week to protest Rite Aid’s treatment of workers.
Shareholders gave executives an earful over the company’s performance in recent
Discussion Questions: Is Rite Aid on the right track? What will the chain
need to do to achieve success against the likes of Walgreens and CVS?
[Editor’s Notes] The company’s stock has been boosted by repeated rumors
that it is a takeover target. Neil Currie, equity analyst at UBS Securities,
told Bloomberg News, "Rite Aid is an interesting strategic asset
in a consolidating industry. It has important market share in important markets
throughout the U.S."
- Rite Aid earnings beat forecast, drive share price up – Bloomberg News/Pittsburgh
- Rite Aid’s new CEO takes over and hears an earful at shareholder meeting in
Harrisburg – The Patriot-News
- Ken Martindale Promoted To Chief Operating Officer At Rite Aid – Rite
Aid Reports First Quarter 2011 Results – Rite Aid Corporation