Shares of Etch A Sketch Maker Jump on Romney Flap

Shares of toy maker Ohio Art Co., (NASDAQ:OART) more than tripled at one point Thursday a day after one of its products, the iconic Etch A Sketch, made headlines in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The stock was up $5.65, or 141.25%, at $9.65 in afternoon trading.

Ohio Art is a thinly traded microcap stock. Fewer than 900,000 shares are outstanding and the company has a market cap of less than $9 million.

One of GOP front runner Mitt Romney’s campaign advisors yesterday compared Romney’s campaign to an Etch A Sketch, a toy that with one shake erases the image that appeared on its screen.

Romney has been criticized for changing his position on a number of core issues as he’s moved from governor of largely Democratic Massachusetts a decade ago to seeking the Republican nomination for president.

Asked in a television interview whether positions taken by Romney during the primaries might have to be adapted to the wider general election in November, campaign advisor Eric Fehrnstrom said: “You hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”

According to Ohio Art’s web site, the Etch A Sketch was first manufactured in 1960. The toy allows users to draw or write on a screen using knobs to create an image on a flat gray screen. The image disappears when the toy is shaken and the screen is ready for another drawing.