NEW YORK – American Eagle Outfitters Inc. posted a 27 percent increase in second-quarter earnings, bolstered by strong sales of “wear-now” merchandise during July’s unusually hot weather.

For the three months ended July 30, net income surged to $72.1 million, or 47 cents a diluted share, from $58 million, or 37 cents, in the same period last year on sales that gained 17 percent to $602.3 million from $515.9 million. Earnings-per-share results include a 1 cent-per-share stock option expense, which was not included last year. Same-store sales for the quarter showed a 10 percent gain, which is on top of a 21 percent increase in the prior year.

For the six-month period, net income jumped 20.3 percent to $136.3 million, or 89 cents a diluted share, from $113.3 million, or 72 cents, in the prior year on sales that rose 16.7 percent to $602.3 million from $515.9 million.

“I am very pleased with this performance, especially in light of the investments we are making in our future growth initiatives, such as our real estate strategy, aerie intimates sub-brand and our new Martin + Osa concept,” said Jim O’Donnell, chief executive officer for the specialty retailer, in a release. “These results are clearly the by-product of a strong and successful team across our organization.”

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s issue of WWD.