EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Strong sales of Fisher-Price toys and American Girl dolls helped boost Mattel's third-quarter results, beating analysts' expectations ahead of the critical holiday season.
The results give an indication of how Mattel is likely to perform during the last three months of the year, during which a toy maker can earn up to 40 percent of annual revenue.
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This year, retailers including Wal-Mart, Kmart and Toys R Us have beefed up layaway and toy reservation services in order to encourage shoppers to buy toys early in the season.
The biggest U.S. toy maker reported net income of $365.9 million, or $1.04 per share, for the period ended Sept. 30, up from $300.8 million, or 86 cents per share, a year ago.
Analysts expected 99 cents per share, according to a poll by FactSet.
Revenue for the El Segundo, Calif.-based company rose 4 percent to $2.08 billion from $2 billion, topping Wall Street's estimate of $2.07 billion.
Fisher Price sales increased 6 percent, while American Girl rose 16 percent. Sales of Hot Wheels were flat, while Barbie declined 4 percent. Mattel reported strong sales of Monster High products, while sales of games tied to the "Cars 2" movie fell.
Sales climbed in North America and abroad, with international results pressured by foreign currency exchange rates.
Smaller rival Hasbro Inc. reports its results on Monday.
Mattel Inc. also announced Tuesday that its board declared a fourth-quarter dividend of 31 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Dec. 14 to shareholders of record on Nov. 28.
Its shares finished at $35.42 on Monday. That is near their 52-week high of $36.25 set on Sept. 18.