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Transformers, Marvel to the rescue for Hasbro

Jul 21, 2014

Hasbro reported an 8% jump in second-quarter sales, as the toy maker reported higher sales of Transformers and Marvel toys, although its profit for the period declined as a result of an unfavorable tax adjustment.

The toy company reported choppy sales trends across its product category. Hasbro's (has) boys category sales jumped 32%, bolstered by growth in Transformers and Marvel products. Hasbro's boy-focused toys often piggyback on the theater debut of new movies, and Transformers and Marvel's X-Men were among the properties to release new flicks this summer. For the girls business, sales rose 10% due to growth from My Little Pony and a Nerf line Hasbro started last year for girls. Those gains offset a 12% drop in games sales and a 4% decline for the preschool category.

While Hasbro's sales grew overall, much of the growth came from abroad, where sales were up 17%, and from a 35% increase in sales from the entertainment and licensing business. U.S. and Canada sales were down 2%.

The sales decline at home is worrisome as the overall industry is performing fairly decently this year. Rival Mattel, citing NPD Group data, said the overall industry's sales have risen 4% in the U.S. and 5% in European markets through May. Mattel (mat) last week posted a 61% drop in second-quarter profit as Barbie posted another steep sales decline.

Overall, Hasbro posted a profit of $33.5 million, or 26 cents a share, down from $36.5 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding tax items, pension settlement charges and restructuring, adjusted profit climbed to 36 cents a share from 29 cents a year ago. Revenue increased 8.2% to $829.3 million.

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expected a profit of 36 cents a share on $838 million in revenue.

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