Look at the Losers Selling Hasbro This Morning

It was a rough quarter for toymakers even before Hasbro (NYSE: HAS  ) stepped up with disappointing quarterly results this morning.

Larger rival Mattel (Nasdaq: MAT  ) missed Wall Street's quarterly profit target when it reported last week. JAKKS Pacific (Nasdaq: JAKK  ) posted a widening deficit last week, as net sales inched less than 2% higher. LeapFrog (NYSE: LF  ) should be a relative standout when it serves up its quarterly financials -- analysts see a narrowing quarterly deficit on a 29% top-line surge -- but the edutainment leader is more of a technology company than a traditional maker of playthings.

Hasbro's report wasn't pretty. Net revenue slipped 3% to $648.9 million, well short of the $666.5 million that the pros were expecting. If you're ready for more bad news, consider that this year's quarter consisted of 14 weeks, one more than last year's freshman quarter. It's a continental tug-of-war here. International sales climbed 14% during the period, but that was more than offset by a 16% decline in North America.

It only gets more disappointing on the bottom line, where Hasbro's severance-adjusted profit of $0.04 a share is short of both the $0.12 a share it delivered a year earlier and the $0.08 a share in earnings that Wall Street was waiting for this time around. The miss shouldn't come as a surprise. Hasbro has now come up short on the bottom line in four of the past five quarters.

The stock understandably opened lower on the news, but there are reasons to feel opportunistic.

For starters, Hasbro still expects net revenue and earnings per share to climb this year. There will also be more chances for Hasbro to milk its gaming franchises on the silver screen in the coming months. No, there won't be a fourth Transformers movie until probably 2014, but Battleship hits a multiplex near you next month and G.I. Joe: Retaliation follows a month later.

In February, Hasbro beefed up its licensing rights -- which were already pretty strong as a result of toy deals for Marvel and Star Wars -- by agreeing to make toys based on Zynga's (Nasdaq: ZNGA  ) social games. Don't laugh. Mattel turned Rovio's Angry Birds game into one of the hottest board games of last year.

Hasbro also continues to buy back shares and even raised its dividend back in February. This morning's drop pushes Hasbro's yield above 4%, rewarding the patient players here who are willing to wait until Hasbro comes back into favor.

Sorry is more than just a board game
Some cynics feel that conventional toys are being replaced by digital diversions. The next trillion-dollar revolution will be in mobile, but that isn't reason enough alone to dump Hasbro. It's still a trend that you can cash in on as an investor, and a new report will get you up to speed. Yes, it's as free as this article, but it won't last forever, so check it out now.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of LeapFrog Enterprises, Mattel, and Hasbro, as well as creating a bear put spread position in Mattel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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  • Report this Comment On April 23, 2012, at 4:45 PM, CPRouse wrote:

    Hasbro is also trading more than 1.5 standard deviations below its 13 week average. I doubled my long position on the dip.

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