Los Angeles Business Journal

Price Hikes Fuel Higher Mattel Profit

By Deborah Crowe Originally published July 17, 2012 at 10:26 a.m., updated July 17, 2012 at 2:25 p.m.

Shares of Mattel Inc. rose more than 9 percent Tuesday morning after the toymaker reported a 20 percent jump in second-quarter earnings. Price increases helped lift margins, the company said.

The El Segundo maker of Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price products reported second-quarter net income of $96.2 million (28 cents a share), compared with $80.5 million (23 cents) in the same period a year earlier.

Sales were flat at $1.16 billion, with the company blaming unfavorable currency exchange rates for hurting revenue growth despite higher product sales in a typically slow quarter. Sales of Hot Wheels rose 11 percent with Barbie sales up 5 percent. Worldwide sales of Mattel's “other girls” brands, which includes the Monster High line, jumped 96 percent.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average were expecting net income of 21 cents a share on sales of $1.13 billion.

“In the second quarter, we delivered solid performance as we continued to build momentum with key brands … despite a continued cautious global retail environment and a strengthening U.S. dollar,” Chief Executive Bryan G. Stockton said in a statement.

Mattel declared a third-quarter dividend of 31 cents a share, to be paid on Sept. 21 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 29.

Shares closed up $3.01, or 9.7 percent, to $34.05 on the Nasdaq.