The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

Toy story: Mattel earnings beat expectations, but will stock hit a $40 a share?

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Barbie beats expectations! Well, not really, but El Segundo-based Mattel, the largest toy company in the United States, just turned in some good news on Wall Street. 

Barbie didn't actually beat expectations. The iconic doll lagged Mattel’s other products in the third quarter, with a dip of 4 percent  from the same period last year.

But the American Girl line brought in $100 million in sales and the Monster High dolls prepped for Halloween also made a big contribution to Mattel’s bottom line, which was up modestly year-over-year. A more favorable exchange rate, with a weaker dollar than last year, also didn’t hurt.

Mattel has not seen its share price threaten $40 in 14 years! It hasn't seen much volatility, either, and it has been paying s steady dividend. Analysts who follow the company figure that it is not really a screaming buy at the moment, but if you'd bought last year, you would be sitting on a nice return right, along with the aforementioned dividends. 

Now the company, with a market capitalization of $12.5 billion, is poised have a strong fourth quarter and make hay during the all-important holiday shopping season, when it rakes in most of its money for the year. A moderately improving economy and rising consumer confidence could set the stage for Barbie to bounce back, too.

Now if it could just sort things out with Greenpeace!

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter. And ask Matt questions at Quora.

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