Mattel Inc. on Wednesday reported slightly lower profit in the fourth quarter, but the results were better than Wall Street expected as the toymaker benefited from higher sales of its new Monster High dolls, as well as its familiar Barbie and American Girl lines.
The El Segundo company reported net income of $325 million (89 cents a share), compared with $328 million (89 cents) a year earlier. The company had fewer shares outstanding in the most recent quarter. Revenue rose 9 percent to $2.12 billion.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average had expected per-share profit of 86 cents on revenue of $2.07 billion.
Barbie and American Girl revenue each rose 8 percent and Monster High products sold out over the holiday season. Fisher-Price revenue was up 6 percent, and the company’s entertainment unit, which includes electronic games and puzzles, rose 12 percent. But sales in the company’s wheels unit, which includes Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and Tyco remote-controlled vehicles, was down 4 percent.
Mattel declared a dividend of 23 cents a share, payable March 11 to shareholders of record on Feb. 24.
“Our priority for 2011 is to accelerate our performance by inculcating our new vision and implementing a new organizational structure; uncovering the next layer of cost cutting opportunities; generating significant cash flow; and deploying capital in a disciplined and opportunistic manner,” Chief Executive Robert Eckert said in a statement.
Shares were up 38 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $24.53 in midday trading on the Nasdaq.
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