News Brief

Barbie Leads Mattel's Bounceback

Thanks to T.M.X. Elmo and a rebound in Barbie sales, Mattel Inc. said yesterday that fourth-quarter sales rose 14% to $2.11 billion, and net income increased 3% to $286.4 million--both ahead of Wall Street's forecasts.

While Barbie sales are flat for the full year, they gained 3% in the fourth quarter.

Hot Wheels sales jumped 9%, and Fisher-Price sales--which include Elmo, one of the season's hottest toys--gained 15%.

"We made good progress in addressing the two key challenges facing the company: U.S. sales declines in the Barbie brand and pressure on our gross margins," said Robert A. Eckert, chairman and chief executive officer of Mattel, in a statement.