Mattel Surprises in 1Q as Toy Sales Accelerate

Mattel (NYSE:MAT) posted a first-quarter beat on the top- and bottom-lines on Wednesday as U.S. sales surged thanks to its Mattel Girls brand and demand ramped up in Europe despite the region’s ongoing economic headaches.

The El Segundo, Calif.-based maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels reported net income of $38.5 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $7.8 million, or 2 cents.

The results, also helped by tighter expenses, beat average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by two pennies.

Revenue for the three-month period grew 7% to $995.6 million from $928.4 million a year ago, trumping the Street’s view of $986.5 million.

Sales of the nation's largest toymaker were led by a 5% improvement in North America, which includes toy sales in the U.S., Canada and its entire American Girl brand. Internationally, sales were up 9%, excluding a negative impact from foreign exchange rates.

"Overall, 2013 is off to a solid start, demonstrating the strength of our global portfolio of brands, countries and customers,” Mattel CEO Bryan Stockton said in a statement. “We are very pleased with the performance of our Girls portfolio and the strong results across all regions, particularly Europe."

A strong 11% sales increase in its Mattel Girls and Boys brands to $692.2 million helped to offset a 7% decline to $287.3 million in Fisher-Price toys.

Shares of Mattel climbed 3.2% premarket to $44.35 following the results.