Shares of Jakks Pacific Inc. jumped 23 percent on Wednesday after the toymaker reported a smaller-than-expected fourth quarter loss and said it expects a return to profitability this year.
The Malibu company reported a net loss of $16.1 million, (-73 cents a share), compared with a loss of more than $119 million (-$5.45) in the same period a year earlier. Net sales rose 3 percent to more than $137 million.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected the company to report a loss of 82 cents a share on revenue of less than $129 million.
Demand for girls’ toys during the holiday drove much of the gain. Among the highlights were Disney Fairies and Princess dolls and dress-up items, including products from the hit Disney animated film “Frozen,” Sofia the First role-play toys and Cabbage Patch Kids. Black & Decker role-play toys and activity tables also had strong sales.
Chief Executive Stephen Berman said staff reductions and other restructuring of the company during the second half of the year went well, and the company was looking forward to the launch of new products from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Wars franchises, as well as toys tied to the upcoming theatrical release of “Godzilla.”
The company currently expects full-year net sales in the range of $633 million to $640 million, with earnings in the range of 30 cents to 40 cents share.
“The right-sizing of our business … has allowed us to gain a strong financial saving going into 2014,” Berman said during a conference call with analysts. “We have a robust portfolio this year comprised of brand new initiatives … along with our evergreen categories.”
Shares closed up $1.37, or 23 percent, to $7.27 on the Nasdaq.