Toy maker Mattel Inc. said Monday its fourth-quarter profit fell 46 percent, well below Wall Street expectations, as consumers cut spending during the weakest holiday season in decades.
El Segundo-based Mattel reported quarterly profit of more than $176 million (49 cents per share), compared with profit of nearly $329 million (89 cents) a year ago. Revenue fell 11 percent to $1.94 billion. U.S. sales dropped 6 percent, and were down 20 percent overseas.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected profit of 72 cents per share on revenue of $2.2 billion.
Barbie sales fell 21 percent and Hot Wheels sales declined 22 percent. One bright spot was the American Girl doll line, whose sales were up 5 percent.
For the full year, Mattel's net income fell 37 percent to more than $379 million ($1.05), with revenue down nearly 1 percent to $5.92 billion. Mattel reported legal and settlement costs of $52 million during the year, mainly related to its lawsuit against Bratz doll maker MGA Entertainment Inc., and some unrelated toy-safety lawsuits.
"Our business wasn't immune from the deteriorating economic environment of 2008," Chief Executive Robert A. Eckert said in a statement. "In response, our focus for 2009 is on cost and spending reductions, and maintaining a strong balance sheet."
Mattel shares were down $2.19, or 16 percent, to $11.99 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
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