The shares of Mattel (MAT) were up sharply after the toymaker reported fourth-quarter earnings of 53 cents per share on $1.79 in revenue, handily topping analysts' estimates, notes Lillian Currens, deputy editor at Bernie Schaeffer's advisory service, Schaeffer's Investment Research.

The company cited strengthening demand for its Barbie brand and issued an upbeat full-year forecast to boot. Several members of the brokerage bunch are taking notice.

No less than six analysts lifted their price targets, the highest coming from J.P. Morgan Securities to $33. This puts the 12-month consensus price target at $29.29, which is a 19.1% premium to the stock's latest close. Meanwhile, eight of the 10 analysts covering the stock call it a "strong buy."

The stock has seen a pretty impressive rebound off its 320-day moving average this month, already up nearly 9% in February heading into today. What's more, MAT is set to open at its highest level since 2017, and log its fourth-straight pop, should today's gains hold. 

Short sellers were piling on MAT ahead of the latest report. Short interest rose 12% during the last two reporting periods, and now makes up 6.6% of the stock's available float.

It would take nearly eight days to buy back these bearish bets, at the stock's average daily pace of trading. Should the recent surge have some of these shorts jumping ship, it could put even more wind at the equity's back. 

Subscribe to Schaeffer's Investment Research here…