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FedEx Corporation (FDX), The Kroger Co. (KR), Rite Aid Corporation (RAD): This Week, Three Stocks to Move the Market

Grocery store leader

Thursday, June 20 before market open; EPS $0.88 / Revenue $30.2B

The Cincinnati, OH headquartered The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) is a leader in the competitive high volume, low margin grocery business. In recent years, Kroger has withstood the entrance of non-traditional grocery retailers such as Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and increased its market share in the face of these competitors.

The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) is widely-considered to be the No. 1 grocery chain, with 2013 revenue expected to reach nearly $100 billion. Shares have risen a massive 35% this year heading into first quarter earnings, compared to a 15% return for the broader S&P 500 index.

On a fundamental basis, I believe significant gains can still be made for long-term investors. The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) has achieved success by investing in price and offering the best in-store experience for customers. However, traditional grocers still maintain greater than 50% market share in The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR)’s end markets, indicating the grocery giant could make further in-roads in the years to come.

Ahead of Thursday’s earnings report, analysts at Cleveland Research Company upgraded Kroger to a “buy” rating. The investment firm believes that Kroger’s growing scale will give it the upper hand with its supplier base. The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) consistently generates an above-average return on equity, a rarity in the food and grocery industry.

In addition to upcoming earnings, Kroger is hosting its annual meeting on June 27.

Embattled drugstore chain

Thursday, June 20 before market open; EPS $0.09 / Revenue $6.27B

Retail drugstore chain Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) is struggling to compete in a world where larger rivals Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) and CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS) achieve greater economies of scale.

The company has reported successive decreases in same-store sales so far this year. March, April, and May sales have fallen 2%, 4%, and 1.5% respectively at a time when pharmacy customers are filling their prescriptions elsewhere.

In April, I wrote positively on rival Walgreen following its 10-year contract agreement with drug supplier AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE:ABC). The deal is likely to transform the pharmaceutical industry supply chain, making it difficult for Rite-Aid to compete on a similar scale. I believe Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) will be forced to reach a new agreement with suppliers and form its own alliance.

While I believe Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) is non-investable for the long-term, the company has several near-term catalysts which could propel shares higher. First, management announced a debt refinancing on June 7 which extends the debt maturity and lowers interest expense. Second, the company raised the lower end of its earnings guidance based on strong generic drug sales.

I remain cautious on Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) for the long-term, but shares could rally following Thursday’s earnings report.

Thanks for reading, and consider subscribing to my posts for more Fool ideas on outperforming the market.

John Macris has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends FedEx.

The article This Week: Three Stocks to Move the Market originally appeared on

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