Mattel Inc's quiet 18% run in the last month

With the market falling, there's one company that managed to quietly run up 18% in the last 30 days, that would be Mattel, Inc.  (Public, NYSE:MAT).  After being butchered in the press last year for a total of 21 million toys recalled and lead paint this and that, MAT is making a comeback.

Here's a look at Mattel over the past year:

Chart for Mattel Inc. (MAT)


Mattel's President made an appearance on the Nightly Business Report last night, here is what he had to say - click for full article:

NEIL FRIEDMAN, PRESIDENT, MATTEL: Commodities are going up. Labor is going up, you know, all the things, transportation -- all the things that we know about are going up, so there will be some increases in toy prices. However, 80 percent of our toys still are under $30 and Matchbox and hot wheels cars are still $0.99, so there's always something for the consumer to buy that's popularly priced.

Earlier this month Mattel's CEO Robert Ecke said he does not expect a repeat of last year's recalls of millions of Chinese-made toys and is "optimistic about 2008" despite an economic slowdown.

Despite posting a better-than-expected profit for the fourth quarter -- earnings rose to $328.5 million from $286.4 million a year earlier -- operating profits fell as a result of increased costs, notably from the extensive recalls. Mattel, Inc. reported Q4 EPS of $0.89, 16 cents better than estimates. Revenues were $2.19 billion vs $2.13 billion consensus.

Robert Ecke went on to say:

"I am concerned about commodity costs. I am concerned about commodity costs and labor costs in Asia. The Chinese currency is appreciating, so I think it will be a challenging year for costs this year.

As a result we will work very hard on reducing our controllable costs, not related to commodity costs, and we will have to raise our prices as well.

People still buy toys, no matter. They may have tough times themselves, may cut back on spending on very large items such as vacations, for example, but children will always have a good Christmas"

Add to it that Mattel Board of Directors authorized the company to increase its previously announced share repurchase program by an additional $500 million.

Investing is tough these days trying to find a stock that won't fluctuate + or - 2% on a given day, so Mattel may be worth a shot under $20.

Disclaimer: The Author does not have any positions in MAT.