Rite Aid Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of retail drugstore chain Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD  ) rallied as much as 12% today after the company outlined a plan to retire $459 million worth of debt.

So what: Before you get too excited, please note that Rite Aid is retiring $459 million worth of notes due in 2015 by offering $481 million worth of notes due in 2020. Rating agency Fitch has already rated this new offering with a grade of CCC/RR5, which implies that credit risks remain high. Fitch maintained its outlook of negative on Rite Aid.

Now what: Even if the ratings agencies couldn't hit the broad side of a barn during the credit crisis, I wholeheartedly agree with Fitch on Rite Aid. Although same-store sales have been rising, Rite Aid still hasn't figured out how to turn a profit. That's not a problem for drugstore juggernauts CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS  ) and Walgreen (NYSE: WAG  ) , which both are profitable, pay a healthy and growing dividend, and have taken market share from Rite Aid hand-over-fist for the past decade. Still heavily indebted and with a slow-growing business I'd recommend using today's strength to sell Rite Aid.

Craving more input? Start by adding Rite Aid to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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