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Mattel Appoints Head of Public Relations, Strengthens Board

Zacks Equity Research

Mattel, Inc. MAT has been continuing to struggle with soft consumer demand and sales crunch. Also, consequences of the Toys ‘R’ Us liquidation continues to haunt the company like most of its peers.

In order to function optimally in such a difficult environment, Mattel has been focusing on enhancing its board. To this end, it recently appointed Dena Cook as the executive vice president, and global head of communications and public relations. Dena Cook was the communications executive and former CEO of Brew. Cook’s responsibilities will include managing and executing Mattel’s corporate communications strategies across global audiences.

By enhancing its board, Mattel is trying to bring potential changes in its functions, which might drive growth over the long term. In fact, out of the 10 directors in the company’s board, five were appointed in the last few months.

Efforts to Fortify Business

All of Mattel’s recent strategies hint at its unremitting aim of reviving sales and form the business in a way that would ensure a new organization design, capable of bringing positive transformations and building capacities.

Beside enriching its board, the company is also focusing on product innovation to drive sales. It is undertaking efforts on the digital front, and focusing on better execution of marketing and promotional initiatives to bring back its flagship brands — Barbie and Fisher-Price — to their former positions.

Apart from new products; the company expects to benefit from increased advertising, and stronger trade promotion and merchandising support in the months ahead. It believes that e-retail is a priority and therefore has considerably stepped up initiatives to drive momentum in this area.

Our Take

While we appreciate Mattel’s efforts to chalk out counter strategies and adapt to changing demand, we remain apprehensive about the fact that the company has not been able to revive sales yet.

Mattel, like Hasbro HAS and JAKKS Pacific JAKK, is expected to keep shouldering the Toys ‘R’ Us liquidation effect in the near term. In fact, owing to the liquidation, Mattel’s net revenues in the fourth quarter of 2018 declined 5.4% year over year on a constant-currency basis. It also led to a sales slump across most brands under Mattel.

Meanwhile, a look at the company’s price trend revealed that the stock has had an unimpressive run on the bourses in the past year. Shares of the company have lost 8.8% compared with the industry’s decline of 31.6% in the same time frame.

Mattel, which also shares the same space with Nintendo NTDOY, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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