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Mattel Upgraded by Berenberg to Buy Ahead of Earnings

Mattel rises after Berenberg upgrades shares of the toy maker to buy from hold.

Mattel  (MAT) - Get Mattel, Inc. Report was upgraded Wednesday to buy from hold by an analyst at Berenberg one day before the toy maker is scheduled to report first-quarter results.

Shares of the company, from El Segundo, Calif., were rising 1.3% on Wednesday.

Berenberg analyst David Beckel, who also raised his price target to $25 from $14, said Mattel and toy maker peer Hasbro  (HAS) - Get Hasbro, Inc. (HAS) Report have both "come through the pandemic stronger than they entered."

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The analyst said he believes both companies' strategies and competitive strengths are unique enough that both "can win." 

Beckel said he expects both of the two largest public toy companies to grow revenue at "a healthy pace" despite difficult industrywide comps in 2021. The analyst has a buy rating on Hasbro as well.

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Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect Mattel to report a loss of 35 cents a share on revenue of $648 million. The company's adjusted earnings have beaten estimates in eight of past 12 quarters, according to Bloomberg.

Last week, Stifel analyst Drew Crum raised his price target on Mattel to $22 from $19.50, while keeping a hold rating on the shares.

In February, Mattel offered a strong earnings outlook for this year and beyond and Citigroup raised its rating on the stock to buy from neutral.

Mattel forecast adjusted EBITDA of $775 million to $800 million this year, up from $719 million in 2020.

The toy maker estimated revenue would increase in the mid-single digits in 2021-2023 from $4.58 billion last year. Mattel executives said they anticipate operating margins will remain in the mid-teens through 2023. The company predicted cost cuts of $250 million by 2023, compared to $1 billion for 2018-2020.

Last week Hasbro and videogame platform Roblox  (RBLX) - Get Roblox Report said they would create new nerf and Monopoly game products based on the Roblox platform.