Mattel Inc. reported third quarter net income of $239 million (62 cents per share), up 6 percent from $225 million (55 cents), for the same period a year earlier, beating analysts estimates.


Sales at the El Segundo-based toymaker were up 7 percent to $1.79 billion, however, the quarter's net profit included $19 million (3 cents per share) of non-cash compensation expense on a pre-tax basis due to stock option grants made more than three years ago. The company voluntarily conducted the investigation and was not under investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission.


"Our portfolio is strong," Robert Eckert, Mattel's chairman and chief executive, said. "Our customers are experiencing good signs for the holidays with some retailers commenting that many of the higher-priced toy items are moving nicely and early."


The earnings were also boosted by strong sales of the T.M.X. Elmo, the 10th anniversary edition of the famed Sesame Street character, which were the single biggest pre-ship launch before the holidays in Mattel's history.


Barbie, Mattel's long time flagship toy line, saw rejuvenated sales and strong movement for toys based on the animated film "Cars" also helped boost profits.


Shares in Mattel were up 98 cents to $21.68 in early trading Monday.

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