Here’s How to Play Mattel’s Upcoming Earnings Report – TheStreet.com

The stock market has been anything but fun and games in the first three weeks of the year, but investors would do well to place a long-term bet on Mattel (MATGet Report) . Known for popular toys such as Barbie and Hot Wheels, Mattel is scheduled to report fourth-quarter fiscal 2015 earnings results after the closing bell Monday. The company is seeing its estimates climb by analysts at both Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs.

Aside from bullish estimates and its consensus buy rating, the California-based toy maker also pays a solid 38-cent quarterly dividend that yields almost 6% annually — some three times the 2% average yield of by dividend payers in the S&P 500 (SPX)  index. In the current jittery stock market, Mattel’s dividend offers a bit of safety. 

Add in a bit of luck and perhaps stronger-than-expected holiday sales, and Mattel may deliver a solid quarter Monday, putting it on path to outperform a fear-led market in the next several quarters.

For the quarter that ended December, analysts’ average estimate calls for earnings of 61 cents a share on revenue of $1.90 billion, compared to the year-ago quarter, when the company earned 52 cents a share on revenue of $1.998 billion. For the full year, earnings are projected to decline 15.5% to $1.25 a share, while revenue of $5.61 billion would mark a drastic 7% decline from last year. While the full-year earnings projections may lack power, holding the shares can still pay off.

Mattel’s revenue struggles have had more to do with the strong U.S. dollar, which is devaluing its overseas sales. In its third-quarter, for instance, the strong dollar adversely impacted its revenue by 17 percentage points. It reported a 19% decline in sales, compared to a 2% decline in constant currency. But the company is actively cutting operating costs to offset the currency headwinds, and its future value is where investors’ focus should be.

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All of this makes Mattel shares even more attractive today. Based on fiscal 2016 consensus estimates of $1.38 a share, Mattel is projected to grow earnings by about 12%, reversing its 2015 decline. So buying now and playing the waiting gain would seem the best way to handle this toymaker.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.