Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels toy cars, reported a sharp rise in fourth-quarter net income on Wednesday evening.

Net income for the world's number-one toy maker came to $147 million for the last three months of 2023, or 29 cents per share, compared with $79 million (18 cents/share) a year ago.

Earnings per share thus fell short of financial analysts' expectations, who were targeting 31 cents per share.

Mattel's sales also fell short of expectations, with sales up 16% to $1.62 billion, where the consensus was for 17% growth.

Bank of America notes that the company gained 0.7 percentage points of market share in 2023, in a sector that was admittedly down 7%.

According to BofA, the Californian group should continue to outperform in 2024, and continue to gain market share at the expense of its competitors.

For 2024, Mattel said it was targeting an adjusted margin of 48.5% to 49%, compared with 47.5% last year, with adjusted operating profit (Ebitda) of between $975 and $1,025 million, after $948 million in 2023.

Mattel shares, which have lost 10% of their value over the past six months, were up 2.1% in early trading on Thursday on Wall Street in the wake of these announcements.

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