money digest


Hasbro high on toy sales

Shares of toymaker Hasbro Inc. hit new highs Monday after the company reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit thanks to strong sales of Spider-Man toys and its Littlest Pet Shop and Playskool brands. The quarterly profit of $32.9 million compared with a year-ago loss of $4.9 million. Revenue rose 34% year-over-year to $625.3 million in a period that tends to be less critical to toymakers than the fourth quarter, which coincides with the holiday-selling season. Hasbro has been rolling out more toys this year thanks to a licensing deal with Marvel Entertainment Inc., which is releasing "Spider-Man 3" on May 4 and "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" on June 15.

Interpublic in for TiVo ratings

TiVo Inc. said Monday that advertising conglomerate Interpublic Group of Cos. has bought a corporate subscription to its StopWatch ratings service. The deal gives Interpublic, which includes Universal McCann and other agencies, full access to the service and its research. TiVo designed the service to allow advertisers to better understand second-by-second commercial viewership during time-shifted and live viewing.

CanWest gets OK for Alliance buy

TORONTO — Canadian broadcaster CanWest Global Communications Corp. and equity partner Goldman Sachs said Monday that they have received the all clear from the federal Competition Bureau to acquire Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. for CAN$2.3 billion ($2 billion). The federal law enforcement agency that weighs takeover bids for possible cartel behavior greenlighted the CAN$53 per-share deal that will hand Goldman Sachs a half-stake in the "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" series and a controlling stake in independent Canadian movie distribution Motion Picture Distribution Lp. The takeover is the latest sign of increasing Canadian industry consolidation.