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VOL. 37 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 12, 2013




Mattel 2Q profit falls, Barbie sales slide again

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NEW YORK (AP) — Monster High dolls are taking a bite out of Barbie.

Mattel said Wednesday its second-quarter net income fell 24 percent, hurt by a continued slide in Barbie sales and a $14 million write-down on the toy maker's Polly Pocket line.

Its shares dropped more than 7 percent in morning trading.

It was the fourth straight quarter of sales declines for Barbie, one of Mattel's biggest and most iconic brands, and Mattel executives said their Monster High and other girls doll lines were likely taking away some sales from the 54-year-old fashion doll.

Monster High dolls, which are based on teen characters that are offspring of famous monsters, have been a huge hit for Mattel since they were introduced in 2010.

"We've introduced new franchises that have fueled significant category growth for the industry," said CEO Bryan Stockton "The Barbie brand is likely being modestly impacted by their successes."

Still, Stockton noted that Barbie was still the largest doll brand and its sales continue to higher than when Monster High was introduced in 2010.

Toy industry sales have been in slight decline all year, hurt by cautious consumer spending, a video game industry slump and increased demand for electronic gadgets like smartphones and tablets. And while Mattel, the largest U.S. toymaker and maker of Monster High dolls and Hot Wheels toys, usually outperforms its rivals, the latest results show it is not immune to industry-wide declines.

CEO Bryan Stockton said the results reflect a $14 million asset impairment charge related to its Polly Pocket line as well as investments made to help the company grow in the future, investing in American Girl stores, and expanding in Russia and China.

In the April-to-June quarter, Mattel's net income dropped to $73.3 million, or 21 cents per share. That compares with $96.2 million, or 28 cents per share, a year ago.

Mattel didn't specify what it earned excluding unusual items. Analysts expected earnings of 32 cents per share but typically exclude unusual items from the estimates.

Revenue for the El Segundo, Calif., company edged up to $1.17 billion from $1.16 billion as international sales grew. Still, this missed Wall Street's estimate of $1.22 billion.

North American sales fell 2 percent, while International sales rose 4 percent.

Sales of Mattel's Barbie franchise declined 12 percent in the latest quarter. Sales of the company's other girls brands climbed 23 percent, mostly due to the continued popularity of Monster High products.

One bright spot was Mattel's American Girl line, with sales up 14 percent. Sales of Fisher-Price branded products dropped 3 percent, while Hot Wheels sales dipped 1 percent.

Mattel Inc. said Wednesday that its board declared a third-quarter dividend of 36 cents. The dividend will be paid on Sept. 20 to shareholders of record on Aug. 28.

Mattel shares dropped $3.26, or 7.2 percent, to $43.08 in morning trading. They are 11 percent below their high of $48.48 set in mid-May. They traded as low as $33.84 last July.

A more complete picture of how the toy industry is doing will come when Mattel's smaller rival, Hasbro Inc., reports on July 22.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0