Toy maker Mattel (MAT - Get Report) is another name that's pushing higher in 2012. So far this year, shares of the California-based firm have rallied more than 36%. Mattel owns an impressive portfolio of toy brands, ranging from Barbie to Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels. The firm also has licenses to produce toys under popular franchises such as Batman, Disney and Dora the Explorer.
Yes, Mattel may be a toy maker, but it's not playing around with its dividend payout. Right now, the firm yields 3.28% thanks to a 31-cent payout each quarter.MAT owns some of the most attractive brands in the toy industry, a business where brand is everything. One of the biggest tailwinds kicking at Mattel's back is consumer spending. Recently, consumer sentiment pushed above pre-recession levels, pointing to increase comfort in discretionary spending among buyers. Since toys tend to be one of the most discretionary categories on store shelves, that economic stat is a very good sign for Mattel's top line. Finally, Mattel is in solid financial shape. The firm has a strong balance sheet with plenty of liquidity to keep the lights on in Barbie's Dream House even if times get tough again. The firm also enjoys deep margins and throws off considerable cash from its operations. Both of those factors help to support another impressive dividend payout in this stock. With Mattel's fourth-quarter dividend already announced this week, the first payout of 2013 looks like a likely hike.