Drugstore.com (NASDAQ:DSCM) is one of the last remnants of the dot-com days of yore. Having managed to survive the bust that doomed Pets.com, eToys, and so many others, drugstore.com continues its agonizingly slow crawl toward profitability. With close to $750 million in accumulated losses, it won't be paying taxes for some time to come, but will the stock finally pay off for long-suffering shareholders?

When CEO Dawn Lepore came aboard from Schwab (NASDAQ:SCHW) in late 2004 , I thought she had a real opportunity to turn around the struggling company. So far, I've been disappointed. This quarter was more positive than most, but hardly the "break-out" quarter the company described in its press release headline.

Revenues rose about 6% year over year to $102.6 million, and net losses were halved to $2.2 million from last year. The big news was the $1.6 million the company achieved in positive EBITDA results from operations. I thought this pro forma way of thinking died with the dot-com boom, but I guess not. With rare exceptions, "adjusted EBITDA" profitability is nothing to write home about, and investors should be looking for real GAAP profitability. Still, gross margins improved 150 basis points to 22% year over year, and the company has stated that its cost rationalization is complete. Now, according to management, drugstore.com will focus on growth opportunities.

I certainly hope so. Drugstore.com predicts revenues of $415 million-$420 million in 2006, up a scant 15% since 2004. In the same period, the company expects net losses of roughly $13 million-15 million. That's not a huge improvement over 2004's $21 million loss (after adjusting for a $27 million asset write-down that year). For all its cost-cutting, the company has only managed to improve gross margins about 100 basis points since CEO Lepore's arrival.

Granted, revenues are up $55 million since 2004, while net losses have decreased $5 million over the same time frame. Still, I would have preferred better results, especially given the substantial return on investment that online advertising can now generate for a firm. Perhaps drugstore.com should reexplore talks with online giant Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), which still owns a slug of the company, to see whether it can drum up a better deal than the one the two companies terminated in November 2005.

CEOs like Mark Hurd at Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) have been able to push through substantial change to their organizations within a year, with outstanding success. For some reason, drugstore.com hasn't shown the same type of improvement -- or much of anything, for that matter. For this longtime watcher, and occasional shopper, it's a frustrating result.

Phurther pharmacy Phoolishness:

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Fool contributor Stephen Ellis doesn't hold shares in any companies mentioned. You can see his holdings for yourself . The Motley Fool has a drug-free disclosure policy .