Mattel shares had their worst day in 20 years, plunging as much as 23 percent after management warned it expects ho-hum sales and margins this year.
The news — revealed at a closed-door meeting with analysts on Friday — was whiplash for Wall Street. Investors had still been digesting surprisingly strong fourth-quarter results last week, in which stronger-than-expected Barbie sales sent its stock soaring as much as 20 percent.
The El Segundo, Calif.-based company has been struggling to reverse a yearslong slide that was worsened by the liquidation of Toys ‘R’ Us a year ago.Mattel didn’t comment Friday, but in a statement last week, Chairman and Chief Executive Ynon Kreiz said, “We remain focused on advancing our strategy to restore profitability and retain top-line growth in the short to mid-term.”
Its shares closed down 18.3 percent, at $13.82.Kreiz, a former TV and movie-studio executive who joined Mattel nearly a year ago, is the company’s fourth CEO in five years.
Lately, Mattel has inked a series of movie deals for its iconic brands, including Barbie, who will get a starring turn on the big screen in a Warner Bros. production starring Margot Robbie.