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The retail pharmacy giant sells its stake in its online partner, unloading its remaining 6.8 million shares of Drugstore.com. But the companies say their relationship is intact.
Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz has resigned from the board of directors of Drugstore.com, the online pharmacy announced Friday. Schultz, who has served on Drugstore.com's board since November 1998, left due to "increased international responsibilities" at Starbucks, according to a Drugstore.com statement. Schultz also is a member of eBay's board of directors. Dan Levitan, co-founder with Schultz of venture capital firm Maveron, will replace Schultz on Drugstore.com's board. Levitan also serves on the boards of directors of The Motley Fool and Illuminations.com.
Retail pharmacy chain Rite Aid has sold about 1.4 million shares of Drugstore.com stock in recent days, a company representative said. One of the major stakeholders in the online pharmacy, Rite Aid still holds about 8 million shares of Drugstore.com stock after the sales. In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Rite Aid estimated that it earned more than $3 million from the sales. Camp Hill, Penn.-based Rite Aid bought its stake in Drugstore.com for $7.6 million in June 1999 as part of a partnership agreement between the two companies. Under that agreement, Drugstore.com operates Rite Aid's online pharmacy, and Rite Aid promotes Drugstore.com to its in-store customers.
Drugstore.com reported on Tuesday a third-quarter net loss of $26.2 million, or 39 cents per share, on $35 million in revenue, helped in part by a $7.5 million gain related to a renegotiation of its contract with Wellpoint Health Networks. Amazon.com-backed Drugstore.com lost $45.7 million, or 80 cents per share, on $26.5 million in revenue in the same quarter last year. On a pro forma basis, which excludes the gain, amortization of goodwill and certain noncash expenses, the online pharmacy lost $15.4 million, or 23 cents per share. Wall Street analysts, three of whom were surveyed by First Call, projected Bellevue, Wash.-based Drugstore.com would post a pro forma loss of 25 cents per share.