Hasbro posts Q3 profit

'G.I. Joe,' 'Transformers' toys help lead the charge

NEW YORK -- Toys tied to summer blockbusters "G.I. Joe" and "Transformers 2" helped boost Hasbro's third-quarter profit 8.8%, beating Wall Street expectations.

But shares of the toy giant fell Monday after it reported a slight revenue decline that fell shy of estimates.

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner also said in a conference call that the firm will have to better manage retailers' and investors' expectations for properties tied to movie releases in the future.

Hinting that their expectations for "G.I. Joe" were too high, he said: "I don't think we can expect that every motion picture we put out to be 'Transformers,' and 'Transformers' is a very rare property and yet you can have many successful motion pictures."

But he emphasized that " 'G.I. Joe' both for the studio as well as for Hasbro is a very successful launch." Goldner also said Hasbro is moving forward with Viacom's Paramount Pictures on a "G.I. Joe" sequel. He didn't provide a forecast for "Transformers" merchandise sales, which hit $484 million in 2007 when the first film hit theaters, but predicted "G.I. Joe" revenue will exceed $100 million this year -- more than three times bigger than last year.

Hasbro posted a quarterly profit of $150.4 million, including a hit of 3 cents per share for investments in a new kids cable network joint venture with Discovery Communications and a virtual studio, on revenue of $1.28 billion.

Revenue in Hasbro's boys' unit jumped 12% driven by the movie properties. But that was offset by a 6% decline in the girls' unit, which includes such properties as My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake, and a 10% drop in the games and puzzles business, headlined by such classics as Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit.