Hasbro 4Q performance slips, hurt by charges

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 10, 2014 at 10:44 am •  Published: February 10, 2014
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PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) — Hasbro's fourth-quarter net income edged down, a disappointing holiday season hurt by one-time charges and weak sales of its Beyblade spinning top game and Marvel toys.

But the company also boosted its dividend, and its shares rose 5 percent in Monday midday trading.

Investors were also reassured that the weakness was concentrated in the boys area, a unit that is sure to turn around when new movies come out, said Needham & Co. analyst Sean McGowan. A new "Spider-Man" movie is due out in May, a new "Transformers" movie in June and a "Star Wars" movie in 2015.

Pawtucket, R.I.-based Hasbro said Monday that sales of toys in the boys' category dropped 16 percent in the quarter. Preschool sales dipped 1 percent. There was strength in the girls' category, which saw a 19 percent sales increase. Sales of games climbed 2 percent.

The November and December holiday season are key for toy makers, because they can make 40 percent or more of their annual revenue then. But sales of traditional toys have been pressured as children turn more to electronic gadgets like tablets and smartphones.

The company said it had strong growth in its girls brands including My Little Pony and Nerf Rebelle. But boy's toys like Beyblade were weaker.

Last month rival Mattel Inc.'s fourth-quarter results missed analysts' estimates as sales of toys like Barbie and Fisher-Price preschool items dropped.