Net sales for the fourth quarter were $167.0 million compared to $163.4 million in the fourth quarter 2015, ahead of the company’s latest guidance. As disclosed in mid-December, a number of key licensed products were performing well below prior expectations for the quarter, more than offsetting the strength of some core product lines.
Gross margin in the fourth quarter was 31.2 percent, up from 30.3 percent last year as a result of continuing margin expansion efforts, partially offset by higher tooling amortization. Operating margin was negative 1.4 percent, an improvement from last year due to the higher gross margin and lower SG&A expenses, offset in part by higher marketing expenses.
Reported net loss attributable to Jakks Pacific for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $7.6 million, or $0.47 per diluted share. This compares to net loss attributable to Jakks Pacific of $9.3 million, or $0.50 per diluted share in the same year-ago quarter. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter was $4.0 million, up from the negative $2.1 million in the year-ago quarter due to the higher margins on slightly higher sales in 2016.