THE RESULTS: Mattel Inc., which makes Barbie and Hot Wheels toys, reported third-quarter net income rose 23 percent, mainly due to cost cuts and a tax benefit. Revenue rose only 2 percent and missed expectations. Sales of Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels toys were weak.
THE CONTEXT: Toy makers are gearing up for the all-important holiday season. Toy sales held up fairly well during the recession. Analysts expect overall toy revenue to rise about 2 percent in 2010.
THE OUTLOOK: CEO Bob Eckert said Christmas could come later this year as shoppers wait until the last minute to buy.