(By Balaseshan) Toy maker Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) reported a 17% decline in quarterly earnings due to higher costs and expenses despite a 40 basis points rise in gross margins. Results missed Street's expectations.
Earnings for the fourth quarter were $306.5 million or $0.87 per share, down from $370.6 million or $1.07 per share last year. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) increased 4.7% to $1.12, yet missed market expectations of $1.15.
The El Segundo, California-based company's net sales rose 5% to $2.26 billion, including an unfavorable impact of changes in currency exchange rates of 1 percentage point, yet missed analysts expectations of a 6.50% increase to $2.29 billion.
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On a regional basis, gross sales were up 5% in the North American Region, which consists of the U.S., Canada and American Girl, including a favorable impact of currency exchange rates of 1 percentage point. For the International Region, gross sales grew 8%, including an unfavorable impact of currency exchange rates of 2 percentage points.
Brandwise, gross sales for the Barbie declined 4% while Wheels business, which includes the Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Tyco R/C brands, were down 1%. Sales of Fisher-Price rose 6% and American Girl jumped 13%.
Gross profit as percentage of sales improved 40 basis points to 54.3% from 53.9%.
The company declared a first quarter cash dividend of $0.36 per share, payable on March 8 to stockholders of record on Feb. 22.
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MAT shares ended Thursday's regular session up 1.40% at $37.63. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $30.15 and $38.48.