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The Force Is With Hasbro As It Reports Big Revenue Jump

February 8, 2016, 2:02 PM UTC

Hasbro (HAS) reported its biggest jump in quarterly revenue in nearly five years, beating analysts’ estimates by a wide margin, driven by demand for toys based on the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Jurassic World” movies.

Revenue from toys targeted at boys, which include action figures based on the two blockbuster films released last year, surged 35% to $569.8 million in the fourth quarter.

Industry-wide sales of Star Wars-licensed merchandise totaled about $700 million in the United States in 2015, according to retail research firm NPD Group.

Larger rival Mattel (MAT) reported a surprise rise in quarterly net sales this month as sales of Barbie dolls recovered and demand rose for Hot Wheels toys, driven by Star-Wars-licensed items such as the “Millennium Falcon Starship.”

Hasbro’s revenue from its games category, which includes Monopoly board games, increased 11% after two straight quarters of decline. The revenue decline in the company’s toys for girls category slowed to 17% from more than 20% in the prior two quarters.

Mattel and Hasbro have held talks about a possible merger, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. Both companies have declined to comment on the report.

The net income attributable to Hasbro rose 3.4% to $175.8 million, or $1.39 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 27.

Net revenue rose 12.8% to $1.47 billion. Excluding the impact of a strong dollar, revenue surged 23%.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.30 per share and revenue of $1.37 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Hasbro also raised its quarterly dividend to 51 cents per share from 46 cents.

Up to Friday’s close of $74.10, the stock had risen 10% this year.