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What: Shares of drugstore chain Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) rallied as much as 10% earlier in the trading day after reporting positive January same-store sales figures.

So what: Rite Aid frankly surprised investors by reporting a 1.1% increase in total same-store sales with front-end sales rising 2.2% and pharmacy same-store sales inching up by 0.6% on flat revenue. It also reminded us how tough the drugstore environment has been by reporting a drop of 0.9% in year-to-date same-store sales highlighted by a 2% drop in drugstore revenue.

Now what: Those are a lot of numbers to take in, but the only one that should matter here is that very large negative mark in the earnings column. Since purchasing Eckerd in 2006, Rite Aid has struggled under crippling debt and generic competition for many of its drugstore products. It has resulted in contracting revenues and declining margins to the point where I even question its viability as a business. Competitors Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) and CVS (NYSE: CVS) have taken advantage of these failures and added to its bottom line at Rite Aid's expense. Today's news deserves a golf clap, but nothing more. It will take a lot more than one month of same-store sales increases before I give Rite Aid even a remote chance at a turnaround.

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Fool contributor Sean Williams does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong.

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