Mattel Stock Poised for Big Surge After Surprise Profit

Strong Barbie sales helped boost Mattel's 4Q earnings

by Karee Venema

Published on Feb 8, 2019 at 9:29 AM
Updated on Feb 8, 2019 at 9:47 AM

The shares of Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) are up 16.1% in electronic trading, which would mark their biggest one-day gain since a 20.7% surge in November 2017. The toy stock is reacting to the company's unexpected fourth-quarter profit of 4 cents per share, while revenue of $1.52 billion also came in above estimates. Mattel cited strong Barbie and Hot Wheels sales for its impressive results.

Analysts have already started to chime in, with MAT stock receiving price-target hikes at BMO (to $23), D.A. Davidson (to $14), and SunTrust Robinson (to $15). More broadly speaking, two analysts maintain a "strong buy" rating on Mattel, compared to six "holds," and one "strong sell," while the average 12-month price target stands at $14.77.

Looking at the charts, MAT shares plunged more than 49% to its Dec. 26 18-year low of $9.09 to its mid-June peak near $18. The stock rallied off this recent bottom, but ran out of steam in the $12.50 region -- home to a 61.8% Fibonacci retracement of its 2018 retreat and Mattel's 80-day moving average -- and closed last night at $12.36. If today's pre-market price action pans out, though, the equity will easily slice through these overhead barriers.

On the flip side, the shares of fellow toymaker Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) is 1.4% lower in electronic trading. The company reported a fourth-quarter adjusted profit of $1.33 per share on $1.39 billion in revenue -- both figures below consensus estimates -- and said the lack of a Disney Princess movie only exacerbated headwinds from the Toys 'R' Us bankruptcy.

Similar to MAT, Hasbro stock has bounced back from its late-December two-year low of $76.84, up 17.5% through last night's close at $90.25. Earlier this week, though, this rebound stalled out near $92, a level that coincides with the stock's Nov. 30 bear gap --  putting HAS on track to snap its four-week winning streak.

Options traders have positioned for a negative Hasbro earnings reaction. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.62 ranks in the 77th annual percentile, meaning puts have been bought to open over calls at a quicker-than-usual clip.

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