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13% increase in price today based on this rumor. - Ned

Rite Aid climbs as analyst talks sale options
12:59 pm ET 02/18/2010 - Associated Press Online
Shares of Rite Aid Corp. jumped more than 13 percent on Thursday after a UBS analyst said the company might be a takeover target for rivals Walgreen Co., CVS Caremark Corp. or Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Analyst Neil Currie said each company would have good reason to consider buying at least some of Rite Aid's 4,800 stores. Rite Aid's sales are slumping and the company is saddled with billions in debt, but Currie said a deal could help Wal-Mart, CVS and Walgreen expand into new markets. Adding some of Rite Aid's locations also could help Wal-Mart take a step forward in increasing its pharmacy business.

"Rite Aid is the last remaining major drug store asset in the U.S., with meaningful exposure to dense urban markets," Currie said. Based on other recent deals, he valued the company at about $10 billion.

Rite Aid couldn't immediately be reached for comment............
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