Mattel Reports First Quarter Financial Results

logo_Mattel logoFor the first quarter, Mattel Inc. reported worldwide net sales up 5 percent in constant currency, as well as reported worldwide net sales down 2 percent, reflecting the impact from changes in currency exchange rates. On a regional basis, first quarter gross sales increased 9 percent in constant currency, and 8 percent as reported in the North American region, which consists of the U.S., Canada, and American Girl. For the International region, gross sales increased 2 percent in constant currency, and decreased 14 percent as reported.

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Toys “R” Us Inc. Provides TRU Transformation Strategic Update

toysrusAt presentations today for investors, industry analysts, and the media, Toys “R” Us Inc. provided an update on its strategy to improve the company’s operational performance, as it continues its work to position the business for long-term profitable growth.

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Toys “R” Us Inc. Reports Full Year and Fourth Quarter Results

On Friday, Toys “R” Us Inc. reported financial results for both the full year and fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended on January 31.

For full year fiscal 2014, net sales improved by $61 million, or 0.5 percent, excluding a $243 million negative impact from foreign currency translation, to $12.4 billion compared to the prior year.  The improvement was within the international segment, primarily due to an increase in net sales from new stores and comparable store net sales, partially offset by an expected decline in domestic comparable store net sales.

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Jakks Pacific Reports Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results

jakks_logoJakks Pacific Inc. reported results for the company’s fourth quarter and full year ended December 31. Net sales for the fourth quarter were $254.0 million, compared to $137.7 million reported in the comparable period last year. Reported net income for the fourth quarter was $2.8 million, or $0.11 per diluted share. This compares to a net loss of $16.1 million, or $0.73 per diluted share, reported in the comparable period last year. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter increased to $10.6 million, compared with negative EBITDA of $6.0 million in the fourth quarter of last year. [Read more...]

Lego Builds Tenth Consecutive Year of U.S. Toy Market Growth

Lego LogoLego Systems Inc. achieved U.S. consumer sales growth for the tenth consecutive year in 2014. The company increased its overall U.S. toy market share to end 2014 in its strongest position ever in U.S. toys. [Read more...]

Activision Blizzard Announces Record Fourth Quarter and Full Year Earnings Per Share

On Thursday, Activision Blizzard Inc. announced record fourth quarter and full year earnings per share. For calendar year 2014, Activision Blizzard delivered record non-GAAP earnings per diluted share of $1.42, compared to $0.94 per diluted share for the previous year. On a GAAP basis, the company delivered record earnings per diluted share of $1.13, compared to $0.95 per diluted share for the prior year. [Read more...]

Frozen Merchandise Helps Disney to Huge First Quarter

As reported by the Associated Press, The Walt Disney Co.‘s earnings rose 19 percent during the last three months of 2014, boosted by sales of Disney Frozen merchandise, as well as strong results from theme parks and networks such as Disney Channel. Sales of Frozen toys and other merchandise drove a 22 percent jump in consumer products sales to $1.4 billion.

In interviews with analysts and press, CEO Bob Iger pointed out that Frozen isn’t Disney’s only blockbuster franchise. The company has 11 franchises with more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales.

For the last three months of 2014, Disney earned $2.24 billion, while revenue rose 9 percent to $13.39 billion.

Toys “R” Us Reports Year-to-Date and Holiday 2014 Sales

toysrusToys “R” Us Inc. has reported its comparable store net sales and gross margin results for the year-to-date and nine-week holiday periods, which ended on January 3. [Read more...]

Toys “R” Us Inc. Reports Third Quarter Financial Results

toysrus.croppedOn Thursday, Toys “R” Us Inc. reported financial results for the third quarter ended November 1. Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter improved by $43 million compared to the prior year period, while consolidated gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, increased by 90 basis points compared to the prior year period. Gross margin dollars were $908 million, compared to $896 million for the prior year period, an increase of $12 million.

Gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, was 36.9 percent, an increase of 0.9 percentage points versus the prior year period. The margin improvement was primarily attributable to the domestic segment, which increased by 1.8 percentage points, to 35.3 percent, as a result of promotional efficiencies. [Read more...]

FINRA Fines 10 Firms for Offering Favorable Research Coverage in Connection with Toys “R” Us IPO

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has fined 10 firms a total of $43.5 million for allowing their equity research analysts to solicit investment banking business and for offering favorable research coverage in connection with the 2010 planned initial public offering of Toys “R” Us.

FINRA fined the following firms: Barclays Capital Inc., $5 million; Citigroup Global Markets Inc., $5 million; Credit Suisse Securities (USA), LLC, $5 million; Goldman, Sachs & Co., $5 million; JP Morgan Securities LLC, $5 million; Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., $4 million; Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., $4 million; Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, $4 million; Wells Fargo Securities LLC, $4 million; Needham & Company LLC, $2.5 million.

In April 2010, Toys “R” Us and its private equity owners invited these 10 firms to compete for a role in Toys “R” Us’ planned IPO. FINRA found that each of the 10 firms used its equity research analyst as part of its solicitation for a role in the IPO. Specifically, Toys “R” Us asked equity research analysts from each of the 10 firms to make separate presentations to Toys “R” Us’ management and sponsors for the purpose of ensuring that the analysts’ views on key issues, including valuation factors, were aligned with the views expressed by the firms’ investment bankers. [Read more...]