Mattel Gains Most in 3 Months on Quarterly Profit : L.A. Mover

Mattel Inc. gained the most in more than three months after the world’s largest toymaker reported first-quarter profit and revenue that beat analysts’ estimates, led by demand for Monster High and American Girl brand products.

The shares rose 1.9 percent to $43.78 at the close in New York, for the biggest one-day gain since Jan. 9. Mattel has gained 20 percent this year, compared with an 8.8 percent jump for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Sales of American Girl dolls, the history-themed toys sold with their own book-length biographies, advanced 32 percent during the quarter from a year earlier, El Segundo, California-based Mattel said in a statement today. Other Girls Brands product revenue, including Monster High, increased 56 percent. Barbie and Fisher Price product sales declined 2 percent and 7 percent, respectively, the company said.

“Our first quarter revenue growth was driven by our Girls portfolio, specifically the standout performances from American Girl and Monster High,” Kevin Farr, Mattel’s chief financial officer, said on a conference call with analysts.

“While we expect the momentum in our Girls portfolio to continue, the positive mix tailwind we have benefited from in the first quarter should lessen as we gain sales traction in our other brands,” he said.

Mattel plans to open two new American Girl stores in Columbus, Ohio and Palo Alto, California in 2013, Bryan Stockton, the company’s chief executive officer, said on the conference call with analysts today. There are currently 14 American Girl stores, according to an e-mail from the company’s general press-office account.

Earnings per share in the quarter ended March 31 totaled 11 cents, the average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 8 cents. Total revenue rose 7.2 percent to $995.6 million. Analysts projected $985.7 million, on average.

“This was another solid quarter for the company, albeit seasonally not important,” Drew Crum a Cleveland-based analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., said in a note today. Crum has a hold rating on the stock.

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