ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Weaker same-store sales resulted in an 18 percent drop in second quarter earnings for May Department Stores Co., the St. Louis-based retailer said Monday.

May earned $111 million, or 35 cents per share, in the quarter ending Aug. 4, compared with earnings of $135 million, or 41 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2000.

The results met analyst expectations.

Second-quarter sales were $3.17 billion, up 1.6 percent from $3.12 billion in 2000. But sales at stores open at least a year, known as same-store sales, dipped 3.1 percent.

For the first six months, the company earned $220 million, or 69 cents per share, compared with $255 million, or 76 cents per share, for the first half of 2000. Sales increased 2.6 during the six months to $6.3 billion, but same-store sales decreased 2.1 percent.

So far, May has opened 11 of its 22 new department stores planned for 2001: a Lord & Taylor store in Dallas; six Hecht's stores _ five in Nashville, Tenn., and one in Bowie, Md.; and four Foley's stores _ one in Dallas, two in Baton Rouge, La., and one in Lafayette, La.

The company still plans to open four Lord & Taylor stores, three Foley's stores, and one store each for Hecht's, Robinsons-May, Kaufmann's and Famous-Barr. David's Bridal has opened 15 stores year-to-date and will open an additional 13 stores by year-end.

May's other stores include Strawbridge's, Filene's, L.S. Ayres, The Jones Store, Meier & Frank and ZCMI.

May operates 432 department stores and 137 David's Bridal stores in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Shares of May fell 34 cents to $32.50 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.