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Jakks Earnings Rise 27%

October 23, 2002|Abigail Goldman | Times Staff Writer

Toy maker Jakks Pacific Inc. said third-quarter net income rose more than 27%, a result of cost cutting, new products and the company's best-ever quarterly sales.

The Malibu-based maker of World Wrestling Entertainment action figures and Pentech pens said Tuesday that it earned $14 million, or 58 cents a share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, up from $10.9 million, or 56 cents, in the same period a year ago.

Sales for the period rose more than 10% to $102.6 million, up from $92.8 million a year ago, partly on the strength of back-to-school sales of Jakks' Flying Colors brand of notebooks, lunchboxes, pens and other children's stationery supplies.

Jakks shares rose 48 cents to $11.41 on Nasdaq.

The company said because of advanced planning, it expects little effect from the disruption at West Coast ports. On a Tuesday morning conference call with analysts after the market's open, Jakks executives also affirmed the company's sales and earnings guidance for the year, with earnings per share of $1.64 to $1.70, excluding charges, on sales of $310 million to $330 million.

"We were impressed with the quarter and the tone of the conference call," said Anthony Gikas, an analyst with U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis.

"They feel good about their position heading into the holidays and we agree."

Jakks expects this week to complete its acquisition of Toymax, creator of Go Fly a Kite and Fundoodle products.

The purchase will make Jakks the nation's third-largest toy company behind Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc.

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