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Etch A Sketch Maker Doubles After Romney Aide Mention

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March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Ohio Art Co. surged in trading after its Etch A Sketch drawing toy became a metaphor for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

The thinly traded toymaker more than doubled to $9.65 after three trades, totaling 800 shares, at the close in New York time in the over-the-counter market.

Yesterday, Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom was asked on CNN whether he was concerned that the candidate might be forced by Republican opponents to take extreme positions during the primary that could alienate moderates in a race against President Barack Obama.

“You hit a reset button for the fall campaign,” Fehrnstrom said. “Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”

Romney’s rivals said it illustrates the candidate’s tendency to vacillate on issues.

Ohio Art, based in Bryan, Ohio, began offering the toy in 1960, and it was the company’s best-selling product until last year. The company has 369,000 shares available to the public, data compiled by Bloomberg show. There have been 35 trades this year. The company’s president, Larry Killgallon, is the largest holder, with 26 percent. Next is his brother, Chairman William Killgallon, at 25 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net