Mattel Beats Sales Estimates as Girl Power Fuels Toy Industry

  • Shares jump in late trading after company releases results
  • Sales of Barbie, American Girl dolls surged last quarter

Mattel Inc. posted third-quarter sales that topped analysts’ estimates, joining rival Hasbro Inc. in getting a boost from girl-oriented toys.

Sales of Barbie, Mattel’s biggest product, jumped 16 percent in the period, the company said in a statement Wednesday. Its American Girl doll line also surged, rising 14 percent. That helped bring overall net sales to $1.8 billion, beating the $1.78 billion estimated by analysts.

The results reflect a comeback for Barbie, which Mattel revamped with different body types, including more realistic versions with curvier hips and shorter legs. It also underscores a broader resurgence in girls toys. Hasbro, which began offering Disney Princess products this year after winning away the franchise from Mattel, saw sales at its girl-focused division jump 57 percent last quarter. Its boys’ products grew just 2 percent.

“Our strategies are generating good progress on many fronts, and while we still have a critical fourth quarter to execute, we remain broadly on track to deliver on our full-year outlook,” Mattel Chief Executive Officer Christopher Sinclair said in Wednesday’s statement.

Shares of the El Segundo, California-based company rose as much as 5.8 percent to $32.40 in late trading after the results were released. They were already up 13 percent this year through Wednesday’s close.

Mattel reported third-quarter earnings of 70 cents a share, excluding some items. That was a bit shy of the 71 cents analysts had projected. The strong dollar continued to weigh on sales overseas, sending international sales down 4 percent in the period.

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