The Caroline Abbott doll is one of the newest in Mattel's American… (Mattel )
Toy maker Mattel Inc. reported a strong third quarter Tuesday, lifted by healthy sales of American Girl dolls and Fisher-Price toys just head of the crucial holiday season.
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the El Segundo retailer posted a profit of $365.9 million, or $1.04 a share, up nearly 22% from $300.8 million, or 86 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Sales also rose 4% to $2.08 billion.
The results beat analyst expectations and positions the toy maker nicely for the holiday months ahead when retailers can rake in up to 40% of their annual sales.
Bryan Stockton, Mattel's chief executive, said the strong showing "represents another quarter of building momentum in the marketplace."
"With the holidays still in front of us, we remain focused on executing our business and driving retail sales in the all-important holiday season," Stockton said in a Tuesday analyst call.
The competition has already begun to woo dollars among retailers peddling toys. Toys R Us rolled out a reservation program so harried parents can nab some popular items, while Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has enhanced its layaway services.
At Mattel, American Girls sales increased 16% while Fisher Price rose 6%. That offset a 4% drop in Barbie, a decline in toys linked to the movie "Cars 2" and flat sales in Hot Wheels items.
Shares of Mattel rose nearly 4% to $36.67 in trading Tuesday morning.
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