Hot Wheels aren’t so hot and Barbie may need more than a makeover these days.
After Mattel Inc., the El Segundo manufacturer of these iconic toy lines, reported dire financials in the third quarter, the company is counting on its Chinese expansions, a new digitally savvy CEO and some serious belt tightening to stay afloat.
But in the short term, analysts said, Mattel will continue to struggle at least into the holiday season with further sales declines as key retail clients close brick-and-mortar stores.
“Mattel is in critical condition and is laden with debt,” said Linda Bolton Weiser, senior analyst at Great Falls, Mont., financial firm D.A. Davidson Equity Capital Markets. “A quarter of the company’s offerings have troubled brands.”
The company in late October reported a net loss in its third-quarter earnings that sent its stock tumbling by 27 percent. This was the fourth consecutive quarter Mattel missed estimates. The company, which already cut dividends once this year, said it would suspended dividend payouts for the upcoming quarter.
The move saves $50 million, Mattel said, but that doesn’t appear to be enough: the company also announced plans to cut another $650 million in costs over the next two years.
Mattel posted a third quarter net loss of $603.3 million a 355 percent decrease compared to the $236.3 million profit from the same period last year. Company revenue declined 13 percent to $1.56 billion from $1.8 billion in the third quarter of 2016.
Mattel reported $2.3 billion in liabilities as of Sept. 30, up from $1.6 billion a year earlier.
The company attributed its poor financials to the bankruptcy of toy retailer Toys R Us Inc. as well as weak demand across its core products including Barbie and Hot Wheels as well as Monster High and Thomas & Friends.
“Our Q3 performance was clearly disappointing. … Results in the quarter reflect continued challenges,” Margo Georgiadis, Mattel’s new chief executive, said in a quarterly earnings call.
Mattel lost more than 50 percent of its stock value over the past year.
It also fell from No. 7 in 2016 to No. 15 this year on the Business Journal’s list of the largest L.A.-area public companies as ranked by market capitalization in July. Its market cap decreased to $5.4 billion from $5.7 billion year to year on the list, but as of Nov. 1, the company’s market cap was under $4.7 billion.
The company’s stock closed at $13.55 a share Nov. 1, down 12 percent from a week earlier.