REFILE-UPDATE2-Halloween treat boosts Jakks Pacific; ups FY view

(Refiles to fix typo in headline and paragraph 1)

* Q3 EPS $1.23 VS est $1.07

* Q3 rev $348.7 mln vs est $304.8 mln

* Board OKs share buyback of up to $30 mln

* Raises FY EPS view to $1.19-$1.25 per share

* Shares up 7 percent to year-high
(Rewrites; adds details, share movement)

Oct 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Jakks Pacific Inc (JAKK.O: ) posted a
higher-than-expected quarterly profit as sales of traditional
toys like dolls and Halloween costumes caught on ahead of the
holiday season, prompting the company to up its earnings view
for the full year.

Shares of the company rose as much as 7 percent to a
year-high of $19.96 Tuesday morning, but shed some gains and
were trading up 4 percent on Nasdaq. The shares have risen
about 32 percent since the company’s market-beating
second-quarter results in July.

Barring hitches like shipping delays, the Malibu,
California-based company said it is likely to finish the
current year ahead of expectations.

Earlier this month, leading toy company Mattel Inc (MAT.O: )
missed estimates as its Fisher-Price infant and preschool toy
business did not do well, but second-in-line Hasbro Inc (HAS.N: )
reported a higher-than-expected profit on strong demand for its
preschool toys and boys’ lines. [ID:nN18216426]

For Jakks Pacific, worldwide sales of traditional toy
products, which include dolls and action figures, came in at
$343.4 million for the quarter, compared with $328 million in
2009, Chief Financial Officer Joel Bennett said on a conference
call with analysts.

The company also said it was looking at modest margin gains
for the year.

Gross margin for the latest third quarter was 31.8 percent,
compared with 33.6 percent last year.

“We have a lot of the new items which tend to have higher
margins, are shipping more in quantity in the fourth quarter,”
a company executive said on the call.

Jakks Pacific, which also designs and markets children’s
stationery and pet products, is planning to launch new toys and
games based on popular characters like Pokemon and Pirates of
the Caribbean, even as it looks to diversify.

The company has made known its interest in acquisitions,
and on Tuesday it said it was still looking for possible
targets.

Jakks’ board also authorized a stock buyback of up to $30.0
million.

For the third quarter, Jakks earned $40.4 million, or $1.23
a share for the July-September quarter. Revenue fell marginally
to $348.7 million.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.07 a share,
on revenue of $304.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters
I/B/E/S.
(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by
Gopakumar Warrier)

REFILE-UPDATE2-Halloween treat boosts Jakks Pacific; ups FY view