Los Angeles Business Journal

‘Cars’ and Barbie Boost Mattel’s Profit

By Deborah Crowe Friday, October 14, 2011

Strong worldwide sales of its Barbie and "Cars 2" toys contributed to a 6 percent rise in third-quarter earnings for Mattel Inc.

The El Segundo toymaker on Friday reported net income of nearly $301 million (86 cents per share) compared with $283 million (77 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 9 percent to $2 billion.

The earnings were in line with expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected per-share profit of 86 cents on revenue of $1.97 billion.

Sales of Barbie dolls and accessories rose 17 percent worldwide. Revenue from the entertainment unit was up 14 percent, mostly due to "Cars 2" products. Sales in Other Girls Brands, which include the Monster High and Disney Princess doll lines, rose 32 percent.

“As we enter into the all-important holiday season, we remain keenly focused on execution and delivering growth in our core brands, working to expand and leverage our international footprint, optimizing our entertainment portfolio, and building our newest franchise, Monster High,” Chief Executive Robert Eckert said in a statement.

Considered to be a potentially big seller for the holiday season is "Monster High Dead Tired," a pajama party theme for the company’s line of dolls based on the offspring of famous monster characters. Also anticipated is "Angry Birds Knock on Wood," a tabletop version of the popular mobile phone game app.

The company's gross margin fell from 51.1 percent to 47.8 percent, which the company attributed both to higher costs and a stronger U.S. dollar.

That contributed to a drop of 39 cents, or 1.4 percent, in the company’s share price to $27.39 in midday trading Friday on the Nasdaq.