Mattel Inc. said Monday it posted a second-quarter loss due to a large tax expense related to the repatriation of foreign profits and high oil prices that cut into margins.


The El Segundo-based toymaker reported a loss of $94 million (23 cents per diluted share) for the second quarter ended June 30, compared with income of $23.5 million (6 cents) for the like period a year earlier. Sales climbed to $886.8 million from $804 million in the year-ago period, benefiting from favorable exchange rates.


Analysts had forecast earnings of 7 cents per share on sales of $829.4 million.


Mattel said the net loss was significantly affected by a tax expense of $112.9 million (28 cents per share) resulting from the company's decision to repatriate $2.4 billion in foreign earnings, under the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act that allows corporations to do so at a substantially reduced tax rate.


Toymakers also have been struggling with rising raw material costs as oil prices topped $60 per barrel, making plastic more costly.


Worldwide sales of the company's Barbie products fell 4 percent and Other Girls brands which includes Polly Pocket, Disney Princesses and Pound Puppies rose at a double-digit percentage rate. Worldwide sales of Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Tyco brands were up 4 percent, while sales of Games and Puzzles increased 27 percent, driven by higher sales of the Batman merchandise and partially offset by sales declines in Yu-Gi-Oh! and Harry Potter products. Sales for the entire Mattel Brands unit jumped 10 percent to $563.8 million.


Worldwide sales for Fisher-Price brands grew 7 percent to $337.3 million. Sales of American Girl products rose 20 percent to $58.8 million.


"While this quarter's results were positively impacted by improving sales trends across our portfolio of brands, including key contributions from entertainment properties, our margins were under pressure," said Robert A. Eckert, Mattel's chairman and chief executive.


Mattel shares settled down 4.4 percent to $18.59 on Monday.

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