UPDATE 1-Mattel profit slumps as Barbie's appeal fades
* 2nd-qtr earnings/share $0.21 vs est $0.32/share
* Net sales rise 1 pct to $1.17 bln vs est. $1.22 bln
* Barbie sales fall 12 percent
July 17(Reuters) - Mattel Inc, the world's largest toymaker, reported a far weaker-than-expected profit as sales of Barbie dolls fell again, highlighting the iconic brand's struggle to stay relevant.
The company, also home to brands such as Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price, said second-quarter net income fell 23 percent to $73.3 million, or 21 cents per share, from $96.2 million, or 28 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 32 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 1 percent to $1.17 billion, missing analysts' average estimate of $1.22 billion.
Falling sales of the Barbie brand was in sharp contrast to the company's other doll brands for pre-teen girls such as American Girl and Monster High.
Barbie sales, which have now fallen for four quarters, dropped 12 percent, while American Girl sales rose 14 percent.
Mattel's gross margin was flat, hurt by higher selling and general expenses.
The company also said it increased its share repurchase program by $500 million.
Mattel sells toys through retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Target Corp and Toys R Us Inc, as well as through its own catalog and website.