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Mattel shares plunge on 2019 forecast

FILE PHOTO: A worker carries Barbie dolls to put them on the shelves at a toy store in Caracas November 14, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

(Reuters) – Mattel Inc said on Friday 2019 gross sales were expected to be flat, with weakness in Thomas & Friends and American Girl offseting comparatively stronger sales of its Barbie and Hot Wheels brands, sending the toymaker’s shares down 14 percent.

The company also forecast a drop in first-quarter gross sales.

The news comes a week after Mattel posted a surprise fourth-quarter profit, as it benefited from a makeover of its Barbie doll.

Mattel also forecast capital expenditures to be roughly in line with 2018 when it spent about $152 million and said it would be increasing strategic investments to about $100 million in 2019.

Shares of the company fell to $14.45 in late trade.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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