(By Balachander) Toy maker Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) reported a surprise rise in quarterly earnings, as jump in gross margins offset flat sales.
Earnings per share increased to 28 cents from 23 cents, topping market expectations of 21 cents.
The El Segundo, California-based company's net sales were flat at $1.16 billion, coming in better than analysts expectations of a 2.8 percent decline to $1.13 billion.
Gross profit as percentage of sales improved 340 points to 51.3 percent from 47.9 percent.
Gross sales rose 1 percent in the North American region, while International gross sales fell 1 percent.
Brandwise, gross sales for the Barbie and Hot Wheels brands advanced 5 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
The company declared a third quarter cash dividend of $0.31 per share, payable on Sept.21, 2012 to stockholders of record on Aug 29, 2012.
MAT shares ended Monday's regular trading session at $31.04. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $22.70 and $34.62.