Mattel Inc. posted earnings and sales that fell short of expectations as as gross sales of its flagship Barbie doll fell 21% worldwide. The toy maker reported third-quarter earnings per share of 97 cents, which included a negative impact of 5 cents a share from its acquisition of MEGA Brands. In the year ago period, the company earned $1.22 a share. Net income fell to $331.8 million, versus $422.8 million a year ago. Sales for Mattel fell to $2.021 billion, versus $2.207 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by FactSet Research expected the company to earn $1.02 a share on sales of $2.176 billion. Worldwide gross sales for Mattel Girls & Boys Brands fell 11% on the prior year, with American Girl brands down 7%, while Hot Wheels rose 5% and Fisher-Price fell 16%. "Clearly we have work to do as we enter the fourth quarter, and we remain focused on executing during the all-important holiday season and beyond," said Bryan G. Stockton, chairman and chief executive officer of Mattel, who said the third-quarter results failed to meet the company's own expectations. Shares were not moving in premarket trading.
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