) --

American Eagle Outfitters'

(AEO) - Get Report

wings got clipped Thuresday after it reported that its second-quarter profit was more than halved.

The retailer reported that quarterly profit fell to $28.6 million, or 14 cents a share, from $59.8 million, or 29 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected the company to earn 15 cents a share.

Sales fell 4.5% to $657.6 million from $688.8 million, while same-store sales sank 10%.

The news sent shares tumbling more than 5% to $13.80 before the bell.

American Eagle has been facing middle-child syndrome, as shoppers occasionally splurge on a higher-priced

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Report

item, and for the most part trade down to




The company has also been trying to figure out exactly where it fits, as merchandise has been tending to skew to an older customer rather than the high school student they are said to represent.

As a result, the teen retailer has been forced to increase markdowns and promotions in order to compete.

Going forward, the company predicts third-quarter earnings in the range of 22 cents to 25 cents a share, which includes a 5-cent tax benefit.

-Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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