Macy's on Wednesday reported earnings per share of 61 cents on sales of $6.2 billion.
Wall Street had expected the department store operator to report earnings of 50 cents a share on $6.34 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
Same-store sales, a key metric in the retail business, fell 1.4 percent. Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix had forecast same-store sales would rise 1.9 percent.
The company also lowered its fiscal-year earnings guidance to $4.25 to $4.35 a share, missing the $4.40 a share analysts were expecting. A conference call with executives is scheduled for mid-morning.
"We were not immune to the weaker-than-anticipated consumer spending," CFO Karen Hoguet said during the company's conference call. We "did not sustain the momentum of the strong start to our 'Back to School' business and kids."
However, she said that the "Buy online, pickup in store" program was "gaining momentum" and that overall Macy's stood to gain from improved consumer sentiment, higher employment and lower gas prices.