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said third-quarter earnings came in at 41 cents a share, exactly what the analysts expected, but lower than last year's 52 cents a share.

Along with the earnings release, the company said that its comfortable with its fiscal 2000

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate of 67 cents a share.

Lately, there hasn't been much to laugh about at Mattel.

A few weeks ago, the company announced a major restructuring designed to help increase profitability. As part of this plan, the company laid off 350 people, or 10% of its work force, and cut its dividend by 86%, reducing its quarterly 9-cent payout to a yearly 5-cent rate.

Third-quarter sales from continuing operations totaled $1.58 billion, compared with $1.59 billion in the same period a year ago.