Mattel Inc. may need to get a license to the “Freaky Friday” franchise.
The toy maker’s stock suffered its worst loss of the millennium on Friday, exactly a week after its best trading session of the 2000s the previous Friday. The boomerang trade was the result of splitting holiday-season earnings from Mattel’s
forecast for 2019 — neither held great news, but last week’s earnings were at least better than expected.
Mattel‘s guidance Friday afternoon — reserved for a presentation at the annual Toy Fair industry event in New York — said gross sales will be the same as 2018 after factoring out the negative effects of currency fluctuations. Mattel sales have declined for five consecutive years, including 2018, but analysts were actually expecting the company to beat that streak in 2019, with an average projection for 3.5% growth, according to FactSet.
Mattel stock jumped 23.2% on Feb. 8, after sales were good enough to beat diminished expectations in the first Christmas season without Toys R’ Us. That was the biggest percentage gain since 1976, according to FactSet data. When shares plunged 18.3% in one big gulp Friday afternoon, it was the worst percentage decline since October of 1999.
Toy makers have faced severe doubts about their ability to drive higher sales and margins as retail sales decline, which has also weighed on rival Hasbro Inc.
Mattel shares had declined more than 27% in the past year before the earnings report provided some temporary relief.