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Mattel 4Q revenue drops as Barbie sales slip

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Mattel says it was a tough time in toyland this past Christmas season.

While fourth-quarter net income climbed 21 percent from year-ago results depressed by a litigation charge, sales of brands including Barbie and Fisher-Price dropped during the key selling period.

Its quarterly performance missed both analysts' estimates and the company's own expectations.

Chairman and CEO Bryan Stockton said that was mostly due to softness in the U.S.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, Mattel Inc. earned $369.2 million, or $1.07 per share. That compares with $306.5 million, or 87 cents per share, a year ago.

The prior-year period included an $87.1 million litigation charge.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of $1.19 per share.

Shares of Mattel slid $2.81, or 6.5 percent, to $40.20 in light premarket trading three hours before the market open.

Revenue dropped 7 percent to $2.11 billion from $2.26 billion. Analysts expected $2.37 billion.

Barbie and Fisher-Price sales both declined 13 percent. Sales for Hot Wheels fell 8 percent.

One bright spot was American Girl, which reported a 3 percent sales increase. Mattel said the performance was mostly helped by sales of the 2013 Girl of the Year, Saige.

Mattel's full-year net income increased to $903.9 million, or $2.58 per share, from $776.5 million, or $2.22 per share, in the previous year.

Annual revenue edged up 1 percent to $6.48 billion from $6.42 billion.

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