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Mattel Rises by 40% for Yugioh Cards ABC News
Oct 17,2002

Mattel Rises by 40% for Yugioh Cards
ABC News
Oct 17,2002
Item# matrisby40fo

Product Description


Oct. 17

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Reuters) - Toy giant Mattel Inc. <MAT.N>, maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, on Thursday said third-quarter net earnings rose 40 percent, helped by cost cuts and growth in core brands.

The No. 1 U.S. toy maker reported net income of $280.6 million, or 63 cents per share, compared with $199.8 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier. Net sales rose 6 percent to $1.67 billion.

Excluding non-recurring charges, the company earned $256.7 million, or 58 cents per share.

The average earnings estimate among 13 analysts polled by Thomson First Call was 55 cents per share, with estimates ranging from 53 cents to 58 cents.

Shares of Mattel jumped 12 percent to $17.70 on the New York Stock Exchange.

"As I've said before, while we are focused on the long term, there will be bumps along the way," said Robert Eckert, chairman and chief executive. "The current disruption caused by the West Coast port dispute, coupled with an uncertain retail environment, presents near-term challenges, which we are working to overcome."

The recently resolved lockout at U.S. West Coast ports slowed holiday shipments of toys and other items and there is a risk that late deliveries could miss peak shopping periods and force retailers to discount items, analysts have said.

The company said its long-term forecast remains unchanged with revenues expected to grow moderately in the mid-single-digit range and earnings per share growth to be in the low double-digits.

Worldwide gross sales for Barbie were up 6 percent;

Hot Wheels were up 9 percent; American Girl was up 10 percent; and core Fisher-Price products were up 23 percent.

Mattel recorded pretax charges of $5.5 million in the quarter as part of its $250 million financial realignment plan. The third quarter charges are largely related to the closure of its North American distribution and manufacturing facilities and streamlining back office functions.

BARBIE AND HOT WHEELS

The girls division had worldwide gross sales of $727.6 million, up 2 percent, with performance driven by international growth in the Barbie brand, and growth in the Polly Pocket and American Girl brands.

This was partially offset by declines in the large doll category, which includes the discontinuation of the Cabbage Patch Kids line.

International sales of Barbie rose but domestic sales declined slightly, the company said, citing its strategy to reduce shipments of adult-targeted collector and holiday dolls.

Worldwide sales for the boys entertainment division, which consists of the Wheels and Entertainment categories, were up 9 percent at $461.8 million. Wheels sales rose 8 percent driven primarily by strong international sales. The Entertainment category's sales rose 21 percent on strong sales of the newly launched He-Man and Masters of the Universe, Yu-Gi-Oh! and SpongeBob SquarePants lines.

Worldwide gross sales for the infant and preschool division, which includes the Fisher-Price, Sesame Street and Disney brands, were up 9 percent.





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