Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Rite Aid is yet to recover from the setback suffered due to the termination of its merger deal with Walgreens. This along with the company’s negative surprise trend in recent quarters has led the stock to underperform the industry in the last three months. Also, Rite Aid continues to battle lower pharmacy reimbursement rates that hurt margins in first-quarter fiscal 2018. Moreover, sales remained soft in the quarter. However, Rite Aid's all cash deal with Walgreens to sell certain Rite Aid stores and related assets to the latter, looks good. This will help in lowering Rite Aid’s debt and improving financial flexibility, making it a smaller, yet stronger independent firm with solid control in key markets. Further, the company's stringent focus on cost management and strengthening its portfolio of health and wellness services also remain impressive. Estimates have been stable ahead of the company's second quarter earnings release.”

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on RAD. Cowen and Company restated an outperform rating and set a $4.70 price target on shares of Rite Aid Corporation in a research report on Monday, June 12th. Guggenheim reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of Rite Aid Corporation in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed an underperform rating and set a $2.00 price objective on shares of Rite Aid Corporation in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Evercore ISI started coverage on shares of Rite Aid Corporation in a research note on Friday, June 30th. They set an underperform rating and a $2.50 price objective for the company. Finally, Mizuho cut shares of Rite Aid Corporation from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $2.95 price objective for the company. in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $4.53.

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE RAD) traded up 0.83% on Tuesday, reaching $2.44. The company had a trading volume of 1,550,173 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $2.35 and its 200 day moving average price is $3.68. The firm’s market capitalization is $2.55 billion. Rite Aid Corporation has a 1-year low of $2.21 and a 1-year high of $8.77.

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The company reported ($0.05) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.01) by $0.04. Rite Aid Corporation had a positive return on equity of 0.52% and a negative net margin of 0.21%. The company had revenue of $7.78 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.29 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.02 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Rite Aid Corporation will post ($0.09) EPS for the current year.

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Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Rite Aid Corporation by 49.8% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 36,518 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 12,140 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. boosted its stake in Rite Aid Corporation by 7.9% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 25,870 shares of the company’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 1,890 shares during the period. Smithfield Trust Co. boosted its stake in Rite Aid Corporation by 37.8% in the second quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 37,650 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 10,330 shares during the period. Comerica Bank boosted its stake in Rite Aid Corporation by 9.2% in the second quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 44,460 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 3,753 shares during the period. Finally, Pinnacle Associates Ltd. boosted its stake in Rite Aid Corporation by 8.1% in the second quarter. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. now owns 38,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 2,900 shares during the period. 52.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Rite Aid Corporation Company Profile

Rite Aid Corporation is a retail drugstore chain. The Company’s segments include Retail Pharmacy and Pharmacy Services. The Company operates under The Rite Aid name. It operates approximately 4,560 stores in over 30 states across the country and in the District of Columbia. The Company’s Retail Pharmacy segment consists of Rite Aid stores, RediClinic and Health Dialog.

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