Bloomberg News

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Wednesday but noted that comparable sales slowed thanks in part to a delayed back-to-school shopping season.

American Eagle said adjusted earnings for the three months ending on August 3, the company's fiscal second quarter, up from 34 cents a share for the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of 32 cents per share. Group revenues, the company said, rose 8% to $1.04 billion, just ahead of analysts' estimates of a $1 billion tally.

Same store sales, American Eagle said, rose 2% from last year, but trailed Wall Street forecasts of just over 3%. The company's current-quarter forecast of earnings in the range of 47 cents to 49 cents per share also fell short of the Refinitiv forecast of 52 cents per share 

"We had a number of wins and accomplishments in the second quarter, yet we were disappointed to report operating results below our expectations," said CEO Jay Schottenstein. "We faced challenges largely stemming from underperformance in certain seasonal categories and a delayed start to back-to-school. Despite this, we delivered our 18th consecutive quarter of positive consolidated comparable sales growth."

"We were also encouraged to see many areas of the business perform well, including continued strong momentum in AE Jeans, Aerie and our digital channel - all major growth priorities," he added. "The AE team has taken quick action to strengthen the business and we are pleased to see an improvement in third quarter-to-date sales. Our brands remain strong and we are well-positioned to continue to grow and gain market share."

American Eagle shares were marked 14.6% lower following the earnings release to change hands at $13.90 each, a move that extends the stock's year-to-date decline past 28%.