Fisher-Price sales slump after lead-related recalls - East Valley Tribune: Business

Fisher-Price sales slump after lead-related recalls

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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 1:19 am | Updated: 11:15 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Barbie maker Mattel, struggling with higher costs and a big drop in sales of its Fisher-Price toys following last year's lead-related recalls, disappointed Wall Street on Monday with a $46.6 million loss in the first quarter.

Its chief rival, Hasbro, had a surprise of its own, reporting a 14 percent profit increase that beat analysts' expectations on strong growth in its Transformers and Playskool brands.

Shares of Mattel, the world's biggest toymaker, fell $1.78, or 8.2 percent, to close at $20, while shares of No. 2-ranked Hasbro rose $3.10, or 9.8 percent, to close at $34.65 after peaking at a 52-week high of $35.07.

Mattel, based in El Segundo, Calif., lost 13 cents per share in the three months ended March 31 compared with last year's quarterly profit of $12 million, or 3 cents per share. Its sales fell 2 percent to $919.3 million from $940.3 million in the year-ago period, despite the benefits of a weak dollar that helped boost sales overseas.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected profit of a penny per share on sales of $926.6 million.

Chief Executive Robert Eckert said commodities such as resin and oil, as well as labor cut into profit margins.

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