I chose to analyze the third largest retail drugstore chain in the United States, Rite Aid Corporation. I chose to analyze Rite Aid Corp. because our family owns approximately 1200 shares and we have taken quite a loss on our investment. We are in the process of deciding whether or not we should sell our stock. Additionally, my Mother has been a pharmacist at Rite Aid Corp for 11 years and she often pays close attention to the financial stability of the company. We both feel that when you are employed by a corporation, that the corporation should be financially stable. A financially secure employer is one who generally offers better compensation and advancement to its employees.

Rite Aid Corp. has its corporate headquarters located at 30 Hunter Lane, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17001, and their telephone number is (717) 761-2633. Rite Aid's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Pacific Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "RAD" The board of directors consists of 11 members. Robert G. Miller is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Board. The board is mainly male in gender with only 2 female directors. One of these females is Mary F. Sammons, president of the Rite Aid Corp. She is not only the President of the company, but also fulfils the role as Chief Operating Officer. The majority of the members are over the age of 55 years, with the youngest member being 43 years old and the oldest being 72 years old.

Rite Aid Corp. sells "prescription drugs and a wide assortment of general merchandise that they call 'front-end products,' including over-the-counter medications, health and beauty aids and personal care items, cosmetics, greeting cards, household items, convenience foods, photo processing services, and seasonal merchandise". They are distinguished "from other national chain drugstores, in part, through their private label brands, their 'stores-within-Rite Aid stores' program with GNC and by their Internet presence. The sale of prescription drugs alone represents 59.5% of their total sales. Over-the-counter drugs and personal care items (10.9%), health and beauty aids (5.8%), and general merchandise (23.8%) account for the remaining 40.5% of their total 2001 fiscal year sales. Rite Aid Corp. operates in the highly competitive retail drugstore industry. "In the sale of prescription drugs, they compete with, among others, retail drugstore chains, independently owned drugstores, mass merchandisers, supermarkets, discount stores, and mail order pharmacies".

Among the top 5 retail drugstore competitors, which include CVS Corp., Duane Reade Corp., Omni care Inc., and Walgreen Co., Rite Aid Corp ranking last at -$1,669.40% and Walgreen Co. ranking first with 16.8% in regards to their return on equity. Rite Aid is also ranked last with respect to net earnings. Rite Aid Corp.'s net earnings for the fiscal year ending 3/2001 were -$835 million. Walgreen Co is ranked first with net earnings of $913 million.

The retail drug store industry has a cyclical growth cycle. It is estimated "that pharmacy sales in the United States will increase more than 75% over the next 5 years. This anticipated growth is expected to be fueled by the 'baby boom' generation entering their 50's, the increasing life expectancy of the American population, and introduction of several new successful drugs and inflation.