Los Angeles Business Journal

Disappointing Holiday Sales Increase Jakk’s Loss

By Deborah Crowe Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jakks Pacific Inc. reported a slightly larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, but shares actually closed up slightly on Tuesday as the toymaker’s revenue beat Wall Street forecasts.

The Malibu company had a net loss of $20 million (-77 cents a share), compared with net income of $8.9 million (30 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Sales fell 30 percent to $141 million.

Excluding one-time items, Jakk’s loss was 72 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected an adjusted loss of 62 cents a share on revenue of less than $125 million.

A lackluster holiday selling season not only resulted in higher markdown allowances but also higher royalty expenses, since the company guarantees a certain level of revenue to the companies from which it licenses intellectual property.

“We anticipate an improved retail sales environment in 2012 and will continue to closely manage our supply chain while maintaining momentum by focusing on the development and placement of our product lines,” said Chief Executive Stephen Berman in a statement.

Jakks said it expected to see loss of 61 cents to 64 cents a share for the current quarter, larger than the Wall Street consensus of 48 cents.

Despite lowering expectations, Jakks, primarily makes licensed toys under brands that include Pokemon and Hello Kitty, does have some growth prospects. Last week it announced a deal with Warner Bros Consumer Products to make and market a toy line based on DC Comics, home to Superman and Batman.

Shares closed up 23 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $15.29 on the Nasdaq.