Rite Aid Corporation (RAD) shares briefly rose about 4% during Thursday's session after the drug store company reported mixed first quarter financial results after the bell on Wednesday. Revenue fell 0.4% to $5.37 billion, in line with consensus estimates, while non-GAAP net losses came in at 14 cents per share, beating consensus estimates by 79 cents per share. The stock initially fell more than 10% during after-hours trading on Wednesday before experiencing a sharp reversal to a 4% gain during Thursday's session.

The pharmacy chain indicated that first quarter financial results failed to meet expectations due to prescription reimbursement rate pressure in the retail pharmacy segment and margin compression in the pharmacy services segment. Management still expects fiscal 2020 sales of between $21.5 and $21.9 billion and adjusted EBITDA of $500 to $560 million.

Analysts have historically been critical of the company's significant debt burden that could inhibit its ability to work through structural and competitive issues.

Chart showing the share price performance of Rite Aid Corporation (RAD)

From a technical standpoint, Rite Aid stock is trading more than 80% off of its 52-week highs and remains in a downtrend. The relative strength index (RSI) appears neutral with a reading of 47.41, while the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) continues to trade sideways. These indicators suggest that there's still a lot of indecision in the market as uncertainties in the pharmacy sector continue to play out.

Traders should watch for a breakout from trendline and 50-day moving average resistance at $8.10 toward reaction highs near $9.00 over the coming sessions. If the stock fails to break out, traders should watch for a retest of 52-week lows near $6.15 over the coming sessions. The slow earnings and lack of analyst confidence means that shares could head lower over the long term, although there could be some relief buying.

The author holds no position in the stock(s) mentioned except through passively managed index funds.