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American Girl gives boost to Mattel's 3Q results

FILE - In this Thursday, July 25, 2013, file photo, women with their children visit Barbie toys on display for sale at the Kids Fun Expo in Beijing. Mattel, which manufactures Barbie toys, reports quarterly earnings on Oct. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Mattel's third-quarter net income rose 16 percent, buoyed by higher sales of American Girl and Monster High products and strength in all regions.

Its performance beat Wall Street expectations. The stock rose more than 1 percent in premarket trading.

The quarterly results come as toy makers gear up for the holiday season, which can account for up to half of their annual revenue.

American Girl sales increased 20 percent thanks to My American Girl, Bitty Baby, Historical dolls and Saige — the 2013 Girl of the Year. Sales of other girls' brands, which includes Monster High products, climbed 28 percent. Barbie sales rose 3 percent, while sales of Fisher-Price brands were flat.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the largest U.S. toy company earned $422.8 million, or $1.21 per share. That's up from $365.9 million, or $1.04 per share, in the prior-year period.

Removing a tax benefit of 5 cents per share, earnings were $1.16 per share. Analysts predicted earnings of $1.11 per share.

Revenue for the El Segundo, Calif., company rose 6 percent to $2.21 billion from $2.08 billion. Wall Street expected $2.175 billion in revenue.

Entertainment business sales, which includes games and Radica, climbed 7 percent primarily because of the Disney Planes movie property.

Hot Wheels sales fell 2 percent. The wheels category, which includes the Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Tyco R/C brands, reported a 9 percent sales decline mostly due to weak sales of Tyco R/C and Matchbox products.

In North America, gross sales climbed 3 percent. International gross sales increased 9 percent.

Mattel Inc. also declared a fourth-quarter dividend of 36 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Dec. 13 to shareholders of record on Nov. 27.

Mattel shares rose 57 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $42.12 in premarket trading more than 3½ hours before the market opening.

Mattel's smaller rival Hasbro reports its quarterly financial results on Monday.