Mattel isn’t having much fun these days

Mitchell Hartman Oct 29, 2019
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Mattel's offices in El Segundo, California, in 2009. David McNew/Getty Images

Mattel isn’t having much fun these days

Mitchell Hartman Oct 29, 2019
Mattel's offices in El Segundo, California, in 2009. David McNew/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Mattel reports third-quarter earnings today after the market close. The toymaker earned 18 cents per share in the same period one year ago; in the most recent two quarters, Mattel lost money as it pursued a long-term cost-cutting and restructuring plan.

The company has been going through a rough patch along with the rest of the toy industry, between the trade war and Toys R Us closing its doors last year. Additional tariff hikes are threatened if the U.S. and China don’t reach a trade deal.

“Retailers are using their negotiating leverage to shift the cost of tariffs by avoiding direct import and having that product pass through companies like Mattel,” said Morningstar equity analyst Jaime Katz.

Katz said Mattel is in a better position than rival toymaker Hasbro to weather rising tariffs because more of Mattel’s top-selling toys are produced outside of China.

But Mattel is behind Hasbro when it comes to current toy trends, including digital play and entertainment tie-ins, said CFRA retail analyst Camilla Yanushevsky.

“They’re launching the “Barbie” movie and the Hot Wheels movie to capitalize on some of their biggest and best-selling products,” she said.

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