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Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on Rite Aid Corp. (RAD) to stable from negative, reflecting the successful refinancing of most 2010 maturities.

The drugstore chain has been laboring under a heavy debt load since the $3.4 billion purchase of the Brooks-Eckerd chain about two years ago. That move, aimed at boosting the company's mass to compete against larger rivals, has caused difficulties as the economy slipped into a recession. However, in its fiscal first-quarter report, which included the company's eighth consecutive quarterly loss, Rite Aid touted its debt-reduction efforts.

The ratings firm affirmed the company's corporate credit rating six notches into junk territory at B-, as challenges remain in improving operating performance amid intense competition and a heavy debt burden.

"The rating action follows Rite Aid's successful refinancing of the bulk of its 2010 debt maturities, ...
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