Mattel, Hasbro spike in afternoon trading, no news released

  • Shares of toy companies Mattel and Hasbro spiked in early afternoon trading.
  • The cause of the spike could not be immediately determined.
  • Mattel late last year approached Hasbro about a potential deal.
A young girl plays with a Mattel Barbie doll in Tiskilwa, Ill.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A young girl plays with a Mattel Barbie doll in Tiskilwa, Ill.

Shares of toy companies Mattel and Hasbro spiked in early afternoon trading Tuesday, months after it was reported the maker of My Little Pony had made an approach to Mattel.

The cause of the spike could not be immediately determined. Mattel jumped up 11 percent, while Hasbro was up nearly 5 percent.

Both companies declined to comment.

The toymakers have been under pressure for years from cheaper off-shore imports, margin-squeezing big-box retailers and children who increasingly prefer tablets to toys. The bankruptcy last year of Toys R Us, one of the world's largest toy retailers, threw a further wrench into the industry. According to Jefferies, the retailer comprised 11 percent, 9 percent and 15 percent of 2016 global sales for Mattel, Hasbro and Jakks Pacific, respectively.

Still, a tie-up might lead to antitrust concerns, which have hindered such deal talks before.