What Investors Should Take Away From Mattel's 10% Pop Friday

What happened?

Shares of Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT), a global learning, development, and play company with brands that include Barbie, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, and many more, are popping 10% as of 12:20 p.m. EST Friday after a rough 2018.

So what

At the time of this writing, there was no direct public news pushing the stock higher, but a combination of 2018's sell-off, a strong day for broader markets, and possibly tax-harvesting investors buying back in could all be contributing to the 10% pop.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 3.26% and 3.15%, respectively, no doubt aiding Mattel's rise today. However, as you can see in the graph above, it's possible that some investors selling a losing investment in Mattel for tax-harvesting purposes in the couple months leading up to 2019 could have waited the 30-day period to now rebuy into Mattel without a penalty, pushing the stock higher. And honestly, sometimes stocks just go up and just go down with little direct news, especially considering the uncertainty around Mattel.

Now what

It's been a rough ride for long-term Mattel investors, who have seen declining demand for the company's Barbie line, loss of some Disney business to rival Hasbro, and even a surprise development from Amazon.com. And while the company's turnaround efforts remain slow, its increased focus on improving its core brand and manufacturing operations have gained a little traction after its surprise third-quarter profit, as has its rising operating income after eight consecutive quarters of year-over-year declines. Investors should take today's 10% pop with a grain of salt and continue to watch closely to see if the third quarter was a one-hit wonder or the beginning of a slow turnaround for the battered toy company.

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