Explaining Southern California's economy

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

Mattel's Fourth Quarter Profit Drops 46 Percent

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Mattel Inc. in of El Segundo, California. Barbie dipped a bit in third-quarter earnings, but overall the biggest toymaker in the U.S. beat expectations.

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. 

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How are Los Angeles companies handling the stock-market slide?

U.S. Markets Open Under Uncertain Economic Conditions

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When will it end?

AP doesn't sugarcoat the bad news for investors:

The stock market extended its longest and deepest slump of the year Tuesday, caught between a recurring nightmare of European debt and the beginning of uncertain corporate earnings reports at home.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell almost 220 points and was on pace for its third triple-digit decline in four trading sessions. It hit its lowest point since Feb. 3, during the market's strong and steady climb earlier this year.

Prices for U.S. government debt rose for the fifth day in a row as investors sought a safe place for their money.

So how are public companies located in Los Angeles handling the decline?

The Big Three — Disney, Northrop Grumman, and Occidental Petroleum — are actually doing okay. They're all down, of course, but nobody has fallen off a cliff. Occidental has fared the worst, due to the assumption that weak demand for gas is going to hurt profits, most likely.

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