Stocks to watch: Rite Aid, Red Hat

The drugstore lowers sales guidance for the year, and the open source software provider reports weak billings.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 21, 2012 8:45AM
By Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet.com

Rite Aid (RAD) reported first-quarter earnings Thursday that met analysts' expectations, but it lowered its sales guidance for the year. The drugstore chain reported a first-quarter loss of $30.7 million, or 3 cents a share, narrower than a year-earlier loss of $65.5 million, or 7 cents a share. Analysts, on average, were expecting a loss of 3 cents a share.

Rite Aid lowered its fiscal 2013 sales guidance to between $25.3 billion and $25.7 billion and said it expects same-store sales to decline between 0.5% and 1%. The company previously anticipated sales would be between $25.4 billion and $25.8 billion with same-store sales between flat and an increase of 1.5%. Shares of Rite Aid fell 1.71% in premarket trading Thursday to $1.15.


Red Hat (RHT) beat Wall Street's first-quarter profit expectations but it posted weak billings and provided second-quarter guidance slightly below estimates. Billings, defined as revenue plus the change in deferred revenue, came in at $310 million. Wall Street was expecting $319 million, according to Mizuho Securities analyst Abhey Lamba, who has a "buy" rating on the stock. Red Hat shares dropped 10.48% to $50.58 in premarket trading Thursday.


Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), the specialty retailer, gave a disappointing outlook on Wednesday for its fiscal second quarter. The company said it expects earnings of 97 cents to $1.03 a share in the three months ending in August, below analysts' expectations of a profit of $1.08 a share.


Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and the Justice Department are close to settling an investigation into the company's alleged improper promotion of the antipsychotic Risperdal, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The two sides are discussing a payment of at least $1.5 billion, some of the people told the newspaper. The settlement would be one of the highest sums to date in a drug-marketing case, the Journal said.


ConAgra (CAG), the branded foods company, is expected by analysts Thursday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 50 cents a share on revenue of $3.4 billion.


Carmax (KMX) is scheduled to report fiscal first-quarter earnings Thursday and analysts expect the used-car retailer to earn 53 cents a share on revenue of $2.82 billion.

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