The shares jumped as much as 19 percent to $2.15, the highest price since September 2009.
Net income for the fiscal fourth quarter that ended March 2 was $124.4 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with a loss of $163.8 million, or 18 cents a share in the year-earlier period, the Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based company said in a statement. That well beat the average estimate of 7analysts which projected a loss of 2 cents a share.
The company ascribed the quarterly profit to new generic introductions and an increase in prescriptions. The number of prescriptions filled at stores open at least a year climbed 3 percent in the quarter, it said.
Revenue fell about 10 percent to $6.45 billion compared with last year's quarter.
Full-year net income was $118.1 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with a loss of $368.6 million, or 43 cents a share the prior year.
Looking ahead, the company projects full-year net income to range between 4 cents and 20 cents per share, on $24.9 billion to $25.3 billion in revenue. Analysts forecast, on average, earnings of 3 cents a share on $25.2 billion in revenue.
Rite Aid has been cleaning up its performance by closing hundreds of under-performing stores in recent years and installing a new wellness format in others.
As of June 21, 2012, the company operated 4,652 stores in 31 states of the United States. About 17 percent of the chain’s locations have been turned into wellness centers with expanded pharmacy services and health-focused products.