Hasbro Earnings Are Back on the Growth Track; Stock Soars 14%

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Toy maker Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) reported first-quarter 2019 results before the market opened on Tuesday. Revenue grew 2.3% -- nearly 6% in constant currency -- earnings per share (EPS) flipped to positive from negative, and EPS adjusted for one-time items more than doubled year over year.

Growth was driven by the company's digital and e-sports initiative, Magic: The Gathering Arena, along with several dependable staples, including Magic: The Gathering tabletop, Monopoly, Play-Doh, and Transformers.

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The results suggests that Hasbro has turned the corner on its Toys R Us woes. The giant retailer's bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation in the U.S. and other geographic markets was the main driver behind the toy maker's 2018 revenue and GAAP net income declining 12% and 44%, respectively.

Hasbro shares soared to a closing gain of 14.2% on Tuesday, which we can attribute to both revenue and earnings coming in much stronger than most investors were likely expecting.

Hasbro's results: The raw numbers

Revenue growth was hurt by the strong dollar. Absent the foreign exchange effect, revenue rose 5.7% year over year.

For context -- though long-term investors shouldn't give too much importance to Wall Street's near-term estimates -- analysts were looking for an adjusted loss of $0.10 per share on revenue of $665.3 million. So Hasbro crushed both expectations.

What happened with Hasbro in the quarter?

  • Revenue from franchise brands climbed 9% year over year to $393.6 million, revenue from partner brands declined 14% to $172.0 million, Hasbro gaming revenue grew 2% to $107.6 million, and emerging-brands revenue soared 22% to $59.4 million. Partner brand revenue is driven by movie releases, so it will be "lumpy" on quarterly basis.
  • Franchise brands Magic: The Gathering, Monopoly, Play-Doh, and Transformers; partner brands Beyblade and UglyDolls (which began initial shipments); gaming brands Duel Master, Connect 4, and Twister; and emerging brands Quickstrike Collectibles, Supersoaker, Furreal Friends, and Power Rangers (which began initial shipments in North America) grew revenue year over year.
  • U.S. and Canada segment revenue edged up 1% year over year to $357.9 million, international segment revenue slipped 2% to $282.6 million (but rose 6% in constant currency), and entertainment and licensing revenue jumped 24% to $92.0 million.
  • Within international, revenue in Europe inched down 1% as reported, but grew a solid 8% in constant currency. This is an especially welcome result since Hasbro particularly struggled in Europe last year due to what management called a "rapidly evolving retail landscape."

What management had to say

Here's what CEO Brian Goldner had to say in the press release:

Looking ahead

While it's still early in its recovery from the Toys R Us fallout and its struggles in Europe, Hasbro's results suggest that the company is back on the growth track.

While Hasbro doesn't provide guidance, Goldner said that it's "on track to deliver profitable growth for the full-year 2019." Moreover, CFO Deborah Thomas added that the company continues to "expect full-year net cost savings of $50-$55 million" from the implementation of the cost-savings initiatives it announced last year.

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Beth McKenna has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Hasbro. The Motley Fool is short shares of Hasbro. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.