Mattel, Hasbro fall as analyst says the pair seem to be losing share to rivals

Markets Associated Press

The stocks of Mattel and Hasbro are sliding less than a week before Christmas, with BMO Capital Markets analysts expressing concern that the toy companies seem to be losing share to competitors.

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The industry analysts say that industry sales appear weak in the fourth quarter, which is the most critical period for toy makers.

Both Hasbro and Mattel seem to be losing share to rivals that are mostly privately held, according to BMO, which also believes that they may end up with high levels of unsold inventory.

BMO lowered Hasbro Inc.'s price target to $55 from $57 and trimmed Mattel Inc.'s to $28 from $30. Both companies have "Market Perform" ratings.

Hasbro's stock fell $2.86, or 4.9 percent, to $55.50 in morning trading. Shares of Mattel declined $1.15, or 3.7 percent, to $30.04.

While Hasbro and Mattel appear to be having some difficulties, BMO analysts are upbeat on Jakks Pacific. The firm said that the company has a solid lineup of new products for this year's holiday season, which should help carry momentum into 2015.

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Toys tied to the Disney movie "Frozen" are a key driver, but that's not the company's only bright spot. BMO believes that the Max Tow Truck — a self-propelled toy truck that can push or pull 200 pounds — has emerged as one of the season's biggest breakout hits.

The toy was out of stock on Wal-Mart's website Friday.

BMO added that Jakks Pacific Inc.'s execution seems to have improved this year, and it appears to be in better financial shape following a restructuring program and charges taken in 2012 and 2013.

The company's stock added 8 cents to $6.69.