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Barbie sales dive 21%, pulling down Mattel's profit

Barbie sales dive 21%, pulling down Mattel's profit
Sales of Mattel's Barbie brand tumbled 21% in the third quarter. (Joerg Koch / Getty Images)

Barbie is weighing down Mattel Inc.

Weak sales of the iconic doll dragged down earnings in a bruising third quarter, in which the El Segundo company reported a 22% profit decline.

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Mattel said Thursday it earned $331.8 million, 97 cents a share, compared to $422.8 million, or $1.21 a share, a year earlier. Sales fell 8% to $2.02 billion.

The Barbie brand was especially hard hit as its sales tumbled 21% from a year earlier.

"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," Mattel Chief Executive Bryan G. Stockton said in a statement.

Sales of the company's Fisher-Price brands sank 16% to $663.4 million. The American Girl brand saw sales slump 7%.

Sales of Mattel's Hot Wheels brand rose 5%.

In a conference call with analysts, Stockton said a decision to shift marketing spending from earlier in the year to the holiday season weighed on the toy company's third-quarter results.

Mattel's stock sank as much as 6% in early trading Thursday before rebounding. The shares were recently changing hands at $30.03, down 51 cents, or 1.7%.

Twitter: @khouriandrew

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