Mattel, Inc. CEO Resigns, Stock Falls

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Mattel, the well-known maker of Barbie dolls and Fisher-Price preschool toys, announced the resignation of chairman and chief executive Bryan Stockton on Monday, and also warned of a fifth consecutive decline in quarterly sales.

The statement from the company noted that former PepsiCo exec Christopher Sinclair had been appointed as chairman and interim CEO.

Of note, shares of Mattel were off as much as 11% on the news, but bounced back later in morning trading to  around 3-4% down.

Statement from analyst

“We were not anticipating this move, but believe the change was made following two consecutive years in which the company’s holiday performance fell short of expectations,” Stifel, Nicolaus & Co analysts commented in a note to clients Monday.

More on Mattel’s statement on Monday

In its statement, the company disclosed that its net income was down by 59% year over year to $149.9 million from $369.2 million for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. Mattel noted that it earned 44 cents per share in the most recent quarter, or 52 cents per share not counting hits from integration costs and taxes. Revenue was off 6% to $1.99 billion.

Analyst consensus forecast was for earnings of 91 cents per share on $2.14 billion in revenue, according to data from FactSet.

Mattel has struggled for more than a year now, with poor sales sales of its famous Barbie dolls the main problem.

Compounding the firm’s problem, Barbie lost its top spot on the holiday wish lists of younger girls to dolls and other from the Disney hit “Frozen.” The National Retail Federation’s Holiday Top Toys Survey found that one in five parents planned to buy “Frozen” merchandise for their girls, compared to 16.8% that were planning to buy a Barbie.

Stockton became CEO of the toymaker in January 2012 and became chairman just a year later. Sinclair commented in the firm’s statement that the board believed it was time for a change in leadership in order to to maximize the company’s potential.

Mattel noted it will announce full results from the December quarter this Friday.

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