Longs Drug Store profit surges 81%

From Times Wire Reports

Longs Drug Stores said its first-quarter profit rose 81%, as revenue rose in both its retail drug stores and pharmacy benefit services divisions, and the company spent less shutting down underperforming stores.

For the three months ended May 1, the Walnut Creek, Calif.-based drug store chain earned $23.5 million, or 65 cents a share, compared with $13 million, or 34 cents, a year earlier. Last year's results reflected more than $9 million spent on store closings and asset impairments.

Revenue rose more than 8% to $1.4 billion.

The results beat estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, who expected a profit of 60 cents a share on revenue of $1.37 billion.

Longs said pharmacy benefit services revenue soared 67% to $187.3 million, while retail drug store sales increased about 3% to $1.22 billion.

Longs shares rose $1.83, or 4.2%, to $45 following the earnings report. The stock closed down $2.64, or nearly 6%, at $43.17 in the regular session.

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