" writeme += "

" writeme += "" writeme += "" writeme += "" writeme += "

" playme.document.write(writeme); playme.document.close(); if((navigator.appName == "Netscape") && (navigator.appVersion.substring(0,1) >= "3")) {playme.focus();} if((navigator.appName == "Microsoft Internet Explorer") && (navigator.appVersion.substring(0,1) >= "4")) {playme.focus();} if (playme.opener == null) { playme.opener = self; } } function play(vid,neth,netl,realh,reall) { var cm=GetCookie("playbar"); if (cm != null) { //if (cm=="nh" && neth=="t") { cm="hi.asx"; //if(aol||nstr||iebug) { //} else { // showvid('asf',vid+cm); //} } else { if (cm=="nh" && neth!="t") { this.sec=1; pbw(vid,neth,netl,realh,reall); } } if (cm=="nl" && netl=="t") { cm="lo.asx"; //if(aol||nstr||iebug) { //} else { // showvid('asf',vid+cm); //} } else { if (cm=="nl" && netl!="t") { this.sec=1; pbw(vid,neth,netl,realh,reall); } } if (cm=="rh" && realh=="t") { cm="hi.rmm"; if(aol||iebug) { } else { showvid('rm',vid+cm); } } else { if (cm=="rh" && realh!="t") { this.sec=2; pbw(vid,neth,netl,realh,reall); } } if (cm=="rl" && reall=="t") { cm="lo.rmm"; if(aol||iebug) { } else { showvid('rm',vid+cm); } } else { if (cm=="rl" && reall!="t") { this.sec=2; pbw(vid,neth,netl,realh,reall); } } } window.onerror = MSIE; // -->

logo
Mon, Jun 19, 2000
Register today for a free financial forecast
fundsnav.gif (2552 bytes)

Registration
Account Management
Site Help
Market Wire Home
Fox News Online Home
Live Ticker
Indices Chart
Click on index
for more information
 Recent Stories
   Mattel Reports Loss, Will Cut 3,000 Jobs
 
Toy Joy for Hasbro, Mattel Has Trouble
By Steve James  Reuters
NEW YORK — In the latest round of the toy wars, Furby and the Teletubbies beat up Barbie and her friend Tickle Me Elmo.

The world's No. 2 toymaker, Hasbro Inc., reported a whopping 75 percent increase in first-quarter profits Thursday, while its even bigger rival Mattel was announcing a net loss of $17.9 million and over 3,000 job cuts.

Wall Street was confident Hasbro's fortunes would improve even more in the second quarter, since the Rhode Island-based company owns the rights to action figures and other products tied in with the highly-anticipated first episode of the new Star Wars movie trilogy. In addition, speaking Furby dolls will be released in five languages and Hasbro said it should start to see cost savings from its global integration plan.

Hasbro, which also markets Playskool toys and dolls from the successful pre-school TV show Teletubbies, saw its shares over $3.375 higher at $33.50 in morning trading, well above the prior 52-week high of $30.81.

Hasbro's sales to Toys R Us Inc. stores rose almost 30 percent in the first quarter, excluding sales from its lucrative Tiger Electronics acquisition, the company said in a conference call. Tiger makes the interactive Furby pets, which were the most sought-after toy last Christmas, just as Mattel's Tickle Me Elmo was the Christmas before.

"The inventory changes Toys R Us began implementing last year had its greatest impact on our first quarter," John O'Neill, Hasbro chief financial officer, told investors.

The company posted first-quarter net income of $13.8 million or 7 cents a share, adjusted for a recent three-for-two stock split, compared with $7.8 million or 4 cents a share in 1998. Analysts had pegged Hasbro's earnings at 5 cents per diluted share, according to research firm First Call Corp.

Hasbro had first-quarter worldwide revenues of $688.4 million, up 38 percent from $482.8 million in 1998. Revenues were driven by Tiger Electronics, which was acquired in April 1998, and by higher sales of computer-based games from Hasbro Interactive, the company said.

"During the first quarter, normally a slow season, an average of 250,000 talking Furbys were sold each week," chief executive officer Alan Hassenfeld said in the conference call. "Demand is so strong that some retailers are air-freighting Furby."

By contrast, it was "trouble in toyland" for Mattel, despite the fact that its worldwide shipment of all dolls, including Barbie, was up 26 percent.

Los Angeles-based Mattel, the world's biggest toymaker, whose products include Barbie and Hot Wheels, reported a first-quarter net loss equivalent to 7 cents per share — better than estimates by Wall Street analysts, who had expected an 8-cent loss. However, that compared with net income of $12.7 million, or 4 cents per share, in last year's quarter, when Tickle Me Elmo reigned.

Net sales for the quarter were $692.1 million, down 2 percent from $705.2 million in 1998.

As part of its drive to reduce overhead and advertising spending and realign operations, chairman and chief executive officer Jill Barad said some facilities would be closed and there would be a reduction of over 3,000 positions. She gave no further details.

The merger of Mattel and Learning Co. Inc. , which the companies expect to complete next month, should also result in additional cost savings, she said.

Barad said Mattel expects to incur a pre-tax charge of approximately $300 million to $350 million, to be taken in the 1999 second quarter. She said the company expected to save approximately $50 million in 1999 and at least $400 million over the following three years.

Barad also announced that Mattel will spend $50 million on a new Internet initiative, which is expected to result in the creation of a new subsidiary later this year, a portion of which may be offered to the public.

More Marketwire More MarketWire News Top of Page


© 2000, News Digital Media, Inc. d/b/a Fox News Online
All rights reserved. Fox News is a registered trademark of 20th Century Fox Film Corp.
Data from Thomson Financial Interactive is subject to the following Privacy Statement
© 2000 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved