Mattel Hit By Sales Slowdown in 2Q, 24% Drop in Profits

Toy maker Mattel spooked investors on Wednesday by disclosing a 24% slump in second-quarter earnings, stalling margins and softer-than-expected Fisher-Price sales.

Hurt by the earnings miss, shares of the maker of Hot Wheels and Barbie tumbled more than 7% in premarket trading.

Mattel said it earned $73.3 million, or 21 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $96.2 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been calling for EPS of 32 cents.

The company partially blamed an unspecified asset-impairment charge.

Revenue inched up 0.9% to $1.17 billion, trailing the Street’s view of $1.22 billion and slowing down from 7% in the first quarter. North American sales slid 2%, while international sales gained 4%.

Gross margins were unchanged at 51.3%, missing forecasts from analysts polled by StreetAccount for a rise to 52.7% and ending a streak of six consecutive quarters of margin growth.

Mattel’s namesake brand posted a 1% rise in sales to $792.4 million, compared with the Street’s view of $827.5 million. Fischer-Price sales fell 3% to $396.7 million, also trailing estimates for $419.3 million.

American Girl sales narrowly exceeded forecasts by jumping 14% to $78.2 million.

“Overall, our underlying performance in the first half of the year is consistent with our long-term financial goals for sales and operating profit growth," Mattel CEO Bryan Stockton said in a statement.

Mattel said it boosted its share buyback program by $500 million.

Shares of the El Segundo, Calif.-based company fell 6.24% to $43.44 in recent trading ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell.

Expectations had been set high as Mattel’s shares have soared 26.5% this year and 36% over the past 12 months.