Hasbro Full-Year Earnings to Miss Wall Street Estimates

Paramount Pictures

Transformers was also illegally downloaded around 19 million times, according to the study. Michael Bay's first film based on the toy line starred Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, a teenager involved in a war between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons. Megan Fox also starred in the movie, and her presence most likely bolstered the high illegal download count.

PHOTOS: Top 15 Grossing Threequels of All Time

The toy giant's CEO says fourth-quarter revenue growth "underperformed our expectations due to the weakness in the U.S. and Canada segment post-Thanksgiving."

NEW YORK - Toy giant Hasbro said Tuesday that its full-year earnings growth came in below expectations amid a weaker-than-hoped fourth-quarter performance in the U.S. and Canada.

The company, whose toy franchises include Transformers and G.I. Joe, said it expects 2 percent-4 percent growth in earnings per share for 2011 over the $2.74 that it had recorded for 2010.

Wall Street observers on average have projected earnings of $2.87, or $2.96 on a fully reported basis, per share on revenue of $4.4 billion.

The company, which has pushed into the entertainment business via films released in partnership with studios and via kids TV joint venture The Hub, said it expects to report approximately 7 percent revenue growth for 2011, compared with $4 billion in 2010, when it issues its final earnings report next month. That would set a revenue record, the firm said. Fourth-quarter revenue is expected to hit approximately $1.33 billion, compared with $1.28 billion in the year-ago period.

"We continue to invest in the global transformation of Hasbro's business for the medium and long-term," said president and CEO Brian Goldner in a statement. "However, Hasbro's fourth quarter revenue growth underperformed our expectations due to the weakness in the U.S. and Canada segment post-Thanksgiving. This had a direct impact on our anticipated earnings growth for the year."

Hasbro had previously promised "meaningful growth" in both revenue and earnings per share for 2011.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai