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Stimulus checks are not why Mattel is crushing it, Mattel CEO says

Brian Sozzi
·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2-min read
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Mattel Chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz tells Yahoo Finance Live his company's blowout first quarter isn't just a byproduct of people having stimulus checks and opting to buy a new Barbie for their quarantined kid. 

Rather, it reflects all the hard work Kreiz and his team have put in over the past few years to fundamentally turn around the storied maker of Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher Price toys.

"What you are seeing is the success of our multi-year transformation strategy, which really puts us in an excellent position to continue to improve profitability and accelerate growth. All in all, we are in the strongest position now than we have been in many years. This is not about the stimulus checks. This is about a comprehensive performance across the board, by category, by region and lot of momentum within our business," Kreiz explains. 

It's hard to argue with that sentiment given Mattel's latest financial showing delivered Thursday evening. 

Here is how Mattel performed compared to Wall Street estimates for the first quarter:

  • Net Sales: $874 million vs. $684.2 million, up 47% year over year

  • Diluted Loss Per Share: 10 cents vs. 35 cents, improved by 46 cents year over year

Worldwide doll sales surged 69% from a year ago, paced by an 87% gain for Barbie.  

Barbie Princess Adventure is an all new musical sing along with long-form content and product debuting in Fall 2020. The Barbie Deluxe Princess line showcased at New York Toy Fair Friday, Feb. 21, 2020 includes two dolls, trendy outfits and their personal pets, all inspired by Barbie Princess Adventure. (Diane Bondareff /AP Images for Mattel)
Barbie Princess Adventure is an all new musical sing along with long-form content and product debuting in Fall 2020. The Barbie Deluxe Princess line showcased at New York Toy Fair Friday, Feb. 21, 2020 includes two dolls, trendy outfits and their personal pets, all inspired by Barbie Princess Adventure. (Diane Bondareff /AP Images for Mattel)

Sales worldwide for the action figures, building sets, games and other segment also rose 69%. Sales for the infant, toddler and pre-school, and Wheels segments increased 31% and 16%, respectively.

Kreiz told Yahoo Finance Live that sales so far in the second quarter are off to a "strong" start. 

Shares of Mattel rose slightly to $20.93 in Friday trading.

"Execution has been solid and the business is healthier than it has been in a long time," said Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink in a research note to clients after the results. Wissink reiterated a Hold rating on the stock with a $23 price target. 

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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