Mattel misses in Q3 as Barbie loses luster

Mattel misses in Q3 as Barbie loses luster
(FILES) A photo taken on February 14, 2010 shows a woman photographing a wall of Barbie dolls in the Mattel display at the annual Toy Fair in New York. Danish toy maker Lego has taken the top spot as the world's biggest maker of toys by sales, overtaking Barbie doll-maker Mattel, its first-half results showed on September 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Stan HondaSTAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images ORIG FILE ID: 532990822

Mattel missed earnings estimates for the third quarter Thursday as sales of Barbie continue on a steep decline.

Mattel reported a profit of 97 cents per share, $331.8 million, down from $422.8 million and $1.21 a share in the same quarter last year. Sales were $2.02 billion for the period, a decline of 8% over last year and short of Wall Street expectations. Analysts had expected per-share earnings of $1.02, and revenue of $2.18 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

Mattel shares are down 3.14% in early afternoon trading to $29.58.

Sales of some of the company’s key toy segments don’t bode well for the upcoming holiday season. Barbie sales fell 21 percent for the three months ended Sept. 30, even sharper than the 15 percent drop in the second quarter.

American Girl also weighs on Mattel with third-quarter sales falling 7 percent, compared with a 6 percent rise in the second quarter.

CEO Bryan Stockton said the company is still on track to meet other goals such as reducing inventory.

“Clearly we have work to do as we enter the fourth quarter, and we remain focused on executing during the all-important holiday season and beyond,” he said in a company statement.

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Heightening tensions even more, Mattel’s rival Hasbro Inc. Recently landed the rights for dolls from the blockbuster Disney movie “Frozen,” a coveted relationship for Mattel. The rights for the “Frozen” dolls will go to Hasbro in the spring of 2016.

Other toy segments show promise as Barbie loses her appeal. Sales of Disney Princess and Ever After High dolls were given most of the credit for the 1 percent increase in sales of other doll brands in the quarter.

Mattel toys that are geared toward boys are also a bright spot. Sales for the Wheels category, which includes the Hot Wheels and Matchbox brands, climbed 4 percent.

Contributing: Associated Press.