Hasbro: 'Stretch Armstrong' May Move to 2013

Says 2012 is already shaping up strongly for toy giant

NEW YORK - Toy giant Hasbro and Universal Pictures could move "Stretch Armstrong," starring Taylor Lautner, from 2012 into 2013, Hasbro CEO president and CEO Brian Goldner said Monday.

He made the comment in a conference call with analysts following the company's third-quarter earnings report.

2012 is shaping up as "another stellar" entertainment year for Hasbro's toy business with its own "Battleship" in partnership with Universal, the recently announced 3D reissue of Fox's and Lucasfilm's "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace,"  Sony's latest "Spider-Man" film and Marvel's "The Avengers," Goldner said.

That could allow the company "potentially to move "Stretch" out of '12 and into '13," he said.

Asked about additional film plans, Goldner wouldn't provide a detailed lineup, but said a "G.I. Joe" sequel, "Monopoly," "Clue," "Ouija" and "Micronauts" are expected to hit the screen in the next three to five years.

Hasbro on Monday reported improved third-quarter financials despite a decline in "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe" movie-related sales. Quarterly profit rose 3% year-over-year to $155.2 million.

Revenue increased 3% to $1.31 billion. But entertainment and licensing revenue fell from $41.6 million in the year-ago period to $27.5 million due to lower movie-related sales.

The company reiterated it expects to grow earnings per share and revenue for the full year 2010. And it said the current fourth quarter will bring the largest part of an anticipated earnings hit of 25 cents-30 cents per share related to the company's TV investment given the launch costs of The Hub, a recently launched kids TV network joint venture with Discovery Communications.

Asked about the Hub's early ratings, Goldner said lauded a "tremendous lineup of programs" and said he was "very pleased" with the channel's early performance, which shows that people are sampling it, but reiterated the company sees it as "a long-term endeavor."