'Star Wars,' 'Frozen,' Disney Princess Toys Boost Hasbro's Quarterly Earnings

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Results benefited from the company's second quarter of 'Frozen' and Disney Princess sales after it won the global rights to make them.

Sales of Star Wars, Frozen and Disney Princess toys boosted better-than-expected second-quarter financials at toy giant Hasbro.

The company, led by CEO Brian Goldner, said Monday that its quarterly results benefited from its second quarter of Frozen and Disney Princess sales after winning the global rights to make them from Mattel as of the start of the year.

Continued Star Wars toys sales after the December release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens led Goldner to say in Hasbro's first-quarter earnings report in April that "at this early stage in the year, we continue to believe 2016 revenues could be in line with last year."

He said Monday, "Our initiatives for the second half of the year feature innovative offerings for Hasbro franchise brands and partner brands, including newly announced products such as Furby Connect and Speak Out, and support for upcoming major feature films, Lucasfilm's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and DreamWorks' Trolls."

Hasbro’s second-quarter earnings rose to $52.1 million, or 41 cents per share, from $41.9 million, or 33 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Wall Street had on average expected 39 cents per share. Revenue rose 10 percent to $878.9 million. Partner brand revenue grew 15 percent, "primarily driven by Star Wars, Disney Princess and Disney's Frozen," the company said.

Girls category revenue increased 35 percent to $172.3 million. "Hasbro's line of Disney Princess and Disney's Frozen fashion and small dolls along with revenue growth in Baby Alive led the increase in the quarter," the company said. Boys category revenue rose 4 percent amid gains for Nerf and Star Wars, as well as the addition of Yokai Watch.

Entertainment and licensing segment net revenue rose 9 percent to $51.9 million driven by growth in consumer products and digital gaming. Entertainment and licensing segment operating profit jumped 86 percent to $13.8 million.

"Although Hasbro might face a slight headwind resulting from the Easter holiday falling in the first quarter this year versus the second quarter last year, the company should benefit from the ongoing strength of key boys products from Star Wars and Marvel, while girls gains momentum from Disney Princess," wrote MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler before the earnings report. "Girls toys should be paced by the inclusion of Disney Princess, which we estimate should contribute roughly $60 million of revenue in the quarter. We look for boys toys to benefit from the global box office success of Captain America: Civil War along with carryover for Star Wars products."

Last week, Hasbro expanded its animation portfolio with the acquisition of Dublin-based animation studio Boulder Media, which was started by Robert Cullen in 2000 and is responsible for such TV shows as Cartoon Network's Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and The Amazing World of Gumball and Nickelodeon's El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera.

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