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In honor of Barbie's birthday, Mattel CEO details how the brand will 'continue to grow'

Here's what's up with Mattel stock as Barbie continues to evolve.

An icon of the toy aisle is celebrating another milestone. Mattel-owned (MAT) Barbie — which first debuted on March 9, 1959 — turns 64 today, and the brand has never been stronger, says CEO Ynon Kreiz.

"We expect Barbie to continue to grow," Kreiz said in an exclusive interview on Yahoo Finance Live (video above), adding: "We couldn’t be more excited about Barbie’s long-term prospects."

For International Women's Day this week, the Barbie brand continued its re-imagination — releasing three new dolls representing top business leaders the Wojcicki sisters. And in July, the hotly anticipated 'Barbie' movie will debut in theaters, featuring actors Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.

All of this comes after the Barbie brand generated a solid $1.5 billion in gross sales in 2022, according to Statista.

A Barbie doll, part of the Olympic Barbie collection from Mattel, is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 21, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A Barbie doll, part of the Olympic Barbie collection from Mattel, is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 21, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (Carlo Allegri / reuters)

Despite the strength behind Barbie — and other exciting new content and toys with Disney Princess and Monster High slated to hit this year — investors are still slightly worried about the potential growth of Mattel's business following a challenging holiday season for the industry.

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Mattel stock is down about 26% in the past six months, in part reflecting the company's mixed outlook for profit growth this year as retailers work down excess holiday 2022 inventory. Said unsold inventory is the byproduct of a U.S. consumer cutting back on discretionary purchases in a still-inflationary economy.

Mattel reiterated at an investor day on Wednesday that it continues to see adjusted earnings this year of $1.10 to $1.20 per share. If achieved, that would mark a drop from $1.25 last year. And sales are expected to be relatively unchanged year over year.

Kreiz says the year is off to a "good" start, and the industry's inventory bulge should be less of a headwind in the second half of the year.

Most Wall Street analysts appear to be betting that Mattel's fortunes improve as the year progresses.

"We remain confident that Mattel is well-positioned to benefit from a strong slate of supporting content across its dolls and vehicles categories in 2023, including Barbie (July movie), Monster High (film sequel and 2nd season of animated series), Disney Princess/Frozen (e.g., The Little Mermaid in May, Wish in November), Mario Kart (April movie), and Fast & Furious (May movie)," Goldman Sachs analyst Stephen Laszczyk wrote in a note.

Laszczyk has a Buy rating on Mattel's stock and is modeling for a 19% upside.

"We still do believe the industry will be flat to slightly up," Kreiz added. "The toy industry has demonstrated its resilience over time, and we expect it will continue to grow over time."

Brian Sozzi is Yahoo Finance's Executive Editor. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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