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California and the West | EARNINGS ROUNDUP

Jakks Reports 24% Jump; Shares Soar

October 20, 2006|Abigail Goldman | Times Staff Writer

Jakks Pacific Inc., the Malibu-based toy maker behind this year's flying car, saw its stock take off Thursday after the company reported better-than-expected sales and earnings.

Jakks said third-quarter net income rose 24% to $40.5 million, or $1.26 a share, from $32.7 million, or $1.05, a year earlier.

Sales grew for the first time in four quarters, up 27% to $295.8 million from $233.5 million a year earlier.

Still, analysts said, how high Jakks will go will be clear only after the holiday shopping season.

"They shipped a lot of product into the stores. Now, they need to see consumers buy that product," said Gerrick Johnson, a toy industry analyst with BMO Securities in New York.

The company benefited from the purchase of Creative Designs International Ltd., which gave the toy maker licenses to make dress-up clothes and accessories based on Disney characters such as Cinderella and Ariel.

Cabbage Patch Kids dolls and games that plug into televisions also lifted sales.

Jakks' Fly Wheels XPV, which drives off roads and flies, has been on many retailers' lists of hot toys for the holiday season.

Shares in Jakks rose $3.80, or 21%, on Thursday to $22.

Jakks confirmed its full-year forecast of $2.32 a share on sales of $775 million. The average estimate of analysts is $2.14 a share and revenue of $734.1 million.

In July, Jakks cut its annual sales and earnings forecast because of production delays and falling sales of Fly Wheels and TV games.

Bloomberg News was used in compiling this report.

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