Dolls behind Mattel's big earnings aren't Barbies
Newer brands such as Monster High and American Girl power the top toymaker to expectation-beating results.
Net income at the El Segundo, Calif.-based company surged to $38.5 million, or 11 cents per share, fueled by robust demand for American Girl products and Monster High dolls (pictured). Sales rose 7% to $995.6 million. Analysts had expected earnings of 9 cents per share on revenue of $985.79 million.
For readers without kids, American Girl is a line of contemporary 8-inch dolls and accessories aimed at girls aged 8 and up. It includes "historical" dolls as well, such as Addy, whose story involves an escape from slavery in the 1860s. The Monster High line features the children of famous monsters.
Worldwide sales of American Girl rose 32% in the quarter, while sales of Mattel's Girls brands were up 56% because of the popularity of Monster High. Cost cuts also helped bolster the company's bottom line.
Barbie and Hot Wheels, though, posted lackluster results. The Barbie brand, which was first introduced in 1959, and the The Wheels category, which includes Hot Wheels and dates from 1968, each posted 2% declines.
Shares of Mattel rose $1.79, or 4.2%, to $44.68 in early Wednesday trading. They have gained more than 22% this year.
Still, the outlook for Mattel will remain tough given the challenging economic environment. Kids are also more eager to play on their parents' smartphones and tablets rather than with physical toys.
Hasbro (HAS), the No. 2 toymaker, is expected to report earnings next week.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
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Monster dolls are disgusting. They send a poor message... just like the Bratz dolls. Why are we allowing our children to idolize these things?
They look like zombies or gothic anorexic monsters. What message are they sending our kids.....
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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