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Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nokia Corp., Siemens AG, Mattel Incorporated, Hasbro Inc. and JAKKS Pacific Inc. - Press Releases

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 1, 2010 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Nokia Corp. (NOK), Siemens AG (SI), Mattel Incorporated (MAT), Hasbro Inc. (HAS) and JAKKS Pacific Inc. (JAKK).

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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Nokia Surprises in 4th Quarter

Nokia Corp. (NOK), the largest mobile phone manufacturer of the world, declared fourth quarter 2009 financial results, with net income up 60% year-over-year. This is primarily due to increasing market share in the high-end high-margin smartphone market coupled with effective cost-cutting measures taken by management. During the reported quarter, Nokia sold four new touch-screen smartphones in addition to its existing three touch-screen smartphones.

Quarterly net income was approximately $1,305 million or 37 cents per share compared to a net income of $816 million or 22 cents per share in the prior-year quarter. Fourth quarter EPS of 37 cents was significantly higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 29 cents. Quarterly total revenue of approximately $17,740 million was a decrease of 5% year-over-year. However, fourth quarter revenue was well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $16,193 million. The decline in year-over-year revenue is the result of a huge reduction in net sales of the company’s struggling telecom infrastructure development segment of Nokia Siemens Network, which is a 50-50 joint venture between Nokia and Siemens AG (SI).

Quarterly operating profit was approximately $1,689 million, up by a massive 132% year-over-year. Operating margin in the same quarter rose to 9.5% compared to a mere 3.9% in the year-ago quarter. During fiscal 2009, Nokia eliminated 2,276 jobs or 1.8% of its total workforce that helped the company achieve this solid performance.

Mattel Beats as Barbie Jumps

Mattel Incorporated (MAT) reported fourth quarter earnings of 89 cents per share. Excluding a tax benefit in the quarter, the company has earned 81 cents per share. The results are well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 68 cents. The company had earned 49 cents in the year-ago quarter.

The better-than-expected results were primarily driven by strong sales of its Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars during the holidays. The company is also focused on controlling its expenses and has reaped its benefits. Mattel has recently given a new look to Barbie, which has attracted many customers.

For the full year 2009, the company reported a net income of $528.7 million or $1.45 per share, compared to the prior year’s net income of $379.6 million or $1.04 per share.

For the quarter, the company reported an operating income of $417.4 million versus $232.4 million in the year-ago period.

Worldwide net sales increased 1% from the prior-year quarter to $1.96 billion. Though U.S. gross sales reported a 2% decrease, international sales were up 3% and were positively impacted by changes in foreign exchange rates.

Worldwide gross sales for the Mattel Girls & Boys Brands business unit were up 4% versus a year ago. Worldwide gross sales for Barbie increased 12% compared to last year while Hot Wheels were up 16%. While core Fisher-Price increased 1%, American Girl line was flat compared to the prior-year period.

Gross margin was 53.4%, up 740 basis points versus the prior-year period. Selling, general and administrative expenses were flat as a percentage of net sales at 19.8%.
 The economic slowdown has severely impacted discretionary consumer spending, which has deteriorated sharply in the U.S. and in many countries around the world. As a result, the balance sheets of toy manufacturers such as Mattel, Hasbro Inc. (HAS) and JAKKS Pacific Inc. (JAKK) have been impacted significantly. However, as one of the dominant companies in the industry, the economic downturn may enable Mattel to strengthen its position at the expense of smaller rivals.

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