Mattel shares surge on 4Q profit, strong Barbie sales

Mattel Shares Racing Higher After Big Earnings Beat

Mattel Inc reported a surprise quarterly profit on Thursday, as the toy maker benefited from its revamped line of Barbie dolls and its efforts to keep a lid on costs, sending its share soaring 17 percent in extended trading.

The company reported net income of $14.9 million, or $0.04 per share, on revenue of $1.52 billion.

Mattel's earnings increased significantly from the year prior of a loss of 82 cents per share.

Barbie ended the year with its highest gross sales in five years, Mattel said, highlighting the company's success in turning around the iconic brand by launching dolls with different skin tones, adding plus-sized and hijab-wearing models and introducing new science kits to make the dolls more educational.

The company's net revenue fell to $1.39 billion in the fourth quarter ended December 30 from $1.6 billion a year earlier, while analysts were expecting $1.52 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Revenues of $1.5 billion were also above analyst expectations, although down 5.4 percent from the year-ago period, due in part to the hit from the liquidation of Toys "R" Us.

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The company reported a full year net sales of US$4.51 billion and fourth quarter net sales of US$1.52 billion.

While every major USA toy maker scrambled to find new avenues to sell toys after the sudden liquidation of the world's largest toy retailer, Hasbro's reliance on toys based on movie franchises compounded its struggles.

Mattel Power Brands gross sales were Dollars 1.2 Billion for the quarter, decreasing by 6% year-over-year.

However, gross sales in North America fell 10.1 per cent to US$744.5 million, reflecting Mattel's struggles with finding a major retailer to make up for lost sales from the shuttering of Toys "R" Us. Meanwhile, Hot Wheels' gross sales for the quarter increased by 9% and 12% in constant currency, compared to the year before. However, sales for Fisher-Price, Thomas & Friends, and American Girl all fell substantially.

Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mattel, said: "Our fourth quarter results demonstrate meaningful progress in executing our strategy and significant improvement over past year". After three consecutive quarters of solid, disciplined execution, we are well on our way to becoming an IP-driven, high-performing toy company and creating long-term value for our shareholders. "This is a great moment to celebrate, before we go back and continue the hard work of implementing our multi-year turnaround", Kreiz said.

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