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Mattel Climbs After Earnings Beat

The toymaker posts a surprise profit for the first quarter.
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posted a 60% drop in first-quarter earnings but handily beat Wall Street's targets for the period, sending the toymaker's shares higher Monday.

Mattel's first-quarter earnings fell to $12 million, or 3 cents a share, from $30.2 million, or 8 cents a share, a year earlier. The year-ago results included a gain of $57 million, or 15 cents a share, related to settlements with foreign tax authorities.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial projected a loss of 5 cents a share for the latest quarter.

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Sales for Mattel, whose brands include Fisher Price and Barbie, rose to $940.3 million from $793.3 million, topping Wall Street's forecast of $847.8 million.

"While not a particularly significant quarter within the seasonal toy industry, our positive first quarter results are a good start to the year," said Robert Eckert, chairman and chief executive of Mattel. "I am pleased with the performance of our strong portfolio of brands, including nice increases in the Fisher-Price and Wheels businesses and continued strength of the Disney/Pixar CARS entertainment property."

Mattel's so-called Girls and Boys Brands division reported a 15% increase in sales to $567 million. Sales of Barbie, which is included in the segment, rose 2%. Sales in the "wheels" category -- consisting of the Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Tyco brands -- rose 15%.

Elsewhere, sales in the Fisher Price unit jumped 27% to $391.3 million, while sales in the American Girls dolls division rose 2% to $62.9 million.

Shares of Mattel recently were up 34 cents, or 1.2%, to $28.68.