"More than meets the eye," is the old tag line from Hasbro's
Hasbro's report is spectacular at first glance.
Revenue climbed 23% to $908.5 million, with earnings -- on a per-share basis -- soaring nearly 45% to $0.42 a share. Analysts were only expecting a profit of $0.39 a share on $854.8 million.
It looks like a healthy beat on both fronts, so why did Hasbro's stock open 3% lower this morning? Well, let's break down how a great quarter is actually a very disappointing showing.
Most of the revenue beat came from a positive $35.8 million foreign exchange impact. The bottom line is far more deceptive. For starters, Hasbro's been buying back gobs of stock lately. This is an applause-worthy tactic for most companies, but it does inflate profitability on a per-share basis. Net income itself only climbed by 33%, and not the 45% suggested once earnings get divided by the fewer shares outstanding.
Unfortunately, even that 33% boost is a facade. Back out a meaty favorable tax adjustment and add back smaller one-time expense items, and earnings clocked in at $0.33 a share. After meeting and largely beating Wall Street's quarterly profit targets over the four previous years, Hasbro has now posted back-to-back misses to kick off 2011.
Sales of Hasbro's toys for boys nearly doubled during the quarter, and understandably so. Viacom's
It was a different scene at larger rival Mattel
We'll get a more complete picture of the toy realm once the rest of the public players report. JAKKS Pacific
Either way, there's a changing of the guard taking place when it comes to which toymaker is the darling player. Hasbro -- though smaller than Mattel -- had that over the past few years as it avoided the lead paint scandals of its rivals and its GI Joe and Transformers toy lines received Tinseltown boosts. Mattel's the one truly beating expectations these days. After years of recommending Hasbro over Mattel in my quarterly breakdowns, Mattel finally has the upper hand.
Would you rather buy Hasbro or Mattel? Share your perspective in the comment box below.