The operator of the nation's third biggest U.S. drugstore chain said Thursday it lost $30.7 million, or 3 cents per share, in the quarter that ended June 2. That compares to a net loss of $65.5 million, or 7 cents per share, in last year's quarter.
Analysts expected, on average, a loss of 4 cents per share, according to FactSet.
Revenue inched up 1 percent to $6.47 billion from $6.39 billion a year ago. That matched Wall Street expectations.
Revenue at stores open at least a year grew 2.5 percent. That included a 2.4 percent increase in the pharmacy and a 2.7 percent rise in the front end, or rest of the store.
Revenue at stores open at least a year is considered a key indicator of retailer health because it leaves out results from locations that have opened or closed in the last year.
Rite Aid said this was the sixth consecutive quarter those sales have climbed.
Rite Aid has 4,652 stores, trailing both Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Corp. The company has a string of quarterly losses dating back to 2007, but they have grown smaller in recent quarters. Revenue also has started growing after declining for 10 consecutive quarters in a streak that ended in fiscal 2011.
A split between Walgreen and pharmacy benefits manger Express Scripts Inc. continued to help Rite Aid fill more prescriptions in the quarter. Express Scripts had paid Walgreen to fill prescriptions, but a contract between those companies expired in December. The split meant many Express Scripts customers had to find new drugstores for their prescriptions.
Rite Aid's results included a $17.8 million loss due to the completion of a debt refinancing and a $20.9 million charge tied to a proposed settlement of some class-action litigation.
The drugstore chain also said its lease termination and impairment charges and its net loss on debt modifications and retirements fell during the quarter.
Rite Aid now expects a fiscal 2013 loss of 13 cents to 29 cents per share on revenue ranging from $25.3 billion to $25.7 billion. In April, it forecast a loss of between 13 cents and 31 cents per share on $25.4 billion to $25.8 billion in revenue.
Analysts expect, on average, a loss of 20 cents per share on $25.6 billion in revenue.
Its shares rose 9 cents, or 7.7 percent, to $1.25 in morning trading Thursday. Its shares are down 41 percent from a 52-week high of $2.12 in mid-March. They traded as low as 85 cents in early October.