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Shares of Mattel jumped more than 4% after the closing bell on Thursday after the company posted quarterly sales that fell across the board, but were still better than feared.

The toy company reported a loss of 26 cents per share, excluding items, on revenues of $732 million. Analysts had expected a loss per share of 34 cents on revenues of $679 million, according to Refinitiv data.

The company’s net toy sales declined 15%, Mattel said. 

Mattel is known for its leadership in the doll category, as Barbie has been a welcome driver of sales over the last few quarters. During the most recent quarter, sales of the fashion doll rose 7%, but that was not enough to buoy the dolls category, which saw sales drop 5%.

Mattel’s other categories saw steeper sales declines:

  • Infant, toddler and preschool fell 21%
  • Vehicles slipped 26%
  • Action figures, building sets, games, etc. slowed 12%

“We entered the second quarter with extensive retail closures and distribution challenges and had to absorb a full quarter of COVID-19 impact, but we demonstrated our execution capabilities and the resilience of our brands,” Ynon Kreiz, CEO of Mattel, said in a statement. “While revenues were down, they exceeded our expectations, particularly in North America, Barbie, and games, where we saw sales increases.”

The company’s operating margin improved on a year-over-year basis during the quarter, bolstered by additional sales

Mattel’s sluggish sales are in stark contrast to the industry-wide success the toy industry has seen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. For the first six months of the year, industry-wide toy sales have soared 16%, according to data from the NPD Group.

The only category that hasn’t benefited has been action figures. Without movie releases, the demand for these toys has waned. Not to mention, the category faces tough comparisons to 2019, which saw the launch of toys tied to “Avengers: Endgame” and “Toy Story 4.”

Dolls, too, have faced major headwinds as parents gravitated toward games, puzzles, arts and craft kits and outdoor toys to placate their home-bound kids. 

Many of Mattel’s top brands are in the action figure and doll categories. American Girl sales were down 16% and sales of Enchantimals and Polly Pocket also fell.

Also lumped into that category during this time is vehicles. Mattel’s Hot Wheels brand saw sales decline 22% and Fisher-Price and Thomas and Friends saw declines of 21%.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.



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