January 8, 2009 / 12:28 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 2-Jean Coutu posts loss due to Rite Aid charge

* Q3 share loss C$1.66

* Q3 revenue C$620.3 mln

* Q3 same-store sales rise 3.2 pct (Adds revenue figures, details on Rite Aid loss, operating earnings))

TORONTO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Canadian drug store chain Jean Coutu Group (PJCa.TO) reported a quarterly loss on Thursday due to a charge from its stake in U.S. peer Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N).

The loss came to C$399.2 million ($332.1 million), or C$1.66 a share, for the third quarter, ended Nov. 29, compared with a year-earlier profit of C$9.5 million, or 4 Canadian cents a share.

Revenue rose 6.4 percent to C$620.3 million.

The company said its share of losses at Rite Aid was C$73.9 million, or 30 Canadian cents a share.

It also recorded a preliminary provision of C$357.8 million, or C$1.49 per share, against the carrying value of its investment in Rite Aid. Jean Coutu holds a 30 percent stake in the U.S. company.

Jean Coutu said the ultimate charge from Rite Aid would be completed in the fourth quarter and could be materially different from the preliminary provision.

Late last month, Rite Aid posted a quarterly loss of $243.1 million, or 30 cents a share.

Before special items, Jean Coutu earned C$36.7 million, or 15 Canadian cents a share, in the third quarter, down from C$41.5 million, or 16 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, were expecting the Quebec-based company to earn 15 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$618.1 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company said same-store sales rose 3.2 percent in the quarter, with pharmacy sales up 4.5 percent. ($1=$1.20 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson)

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