Jan 31 (Reuters) - No. 1 toy company Mattel Inc missed Wall Street's profit and sales estimates for the fourth quarter on weak demand in the United States during the all-important holiday selling season.
The latest holiday season turned out to be one of the weakest since 2008, when the U.S. economy was reeling from a recession. Bad weather, limited discretionary dollars for many shoppers and six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2013 hurt U.S. sales for many retailers.
For Mattel, gross sales fell 10 percent in North America.
"By every account, 2013 was a challenging and transformative year at retail," Chief Executive Officer Bryan Stockton said in a statement.
Fourth-quarter net income rose to $369.2 million, or $1.07 a share, from $306.5 million, or 87 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.20 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales fell 6 percent to $2.11 billion, while analysts had forecast $2.37 billion.
Industrywide, demand was particularly weak for action figures and preschool toys, market research firm NPD Group said earlier this month. Those categories are the largest respectively for Mattel and rival Hasbro Inc, Wells Fargo analyst Tim Conder has said.