Los Angeles Business Journal

Mattel Shares Up on Price Hikes

By Deborah Crowe Friday, February 1, 2013

Mattel Inc. shares closed up slightly on Friday amid news that the company plans to raise prices in markets around the world.

The pricing news helped offset a disappointing fourth quarter report released Friday. The El Segundo toymaker reported net income of less than $307 million (87 cents a share) 17 percent lower than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 5 percent to $2.26 billion.

Adjusted net income was $1.12 a share after excluding litigation changes related to the company’s ongoing fight with MGA Entertainment Inc. over the Bratz doll franchise. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected adjusted net income of $1.15 a share on net sales of $2.29 billion.

"We had another great year at Mattel with record sales for both total company and our international division, stronger gross margins and our second year of more than $1 billion in operating profit,” Chief Executive Bryan G. Stockton said in a statement. “These results are particularly gratifying given the challenging global economic and cost environment."

The company announced that it planned to cut costs and raise prices globally in the low single-digit percentage range.

For the quarter, worldwide sales in Mattel’s flagship Barbie franchise fell 4 percent, and a larger 10 percent in North America as new lines such as Monster High dolls gained in popularity. The company’s entertainment segment, which includes electronic games and toys, fell 13 percent. The Fisher-Price unit, which includes the Fisher-Price and Power Wheels brands, saw sales rise 6 percent.

Shares closed up 63 cents, or less than 2 percent, to $38.26 on the Nasdaq.