What happened

Shares of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) rose more than 16% throughout 2016, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the company posted impressive results throughout the year, particularly within its girls segment. 

So what

For the third quarter reported Oct. 17, Hasbro's sales gained 14% year over year, to $1.68 billion. Net earnings increased by 24%. Much of the success in the third quarter and throughout the year was due to the continued growth of the boys segment, which grew 8% year over year for the first three quarters of 2016, and, more impressively, from growth in the girls segment, which jumped 48% during the same period. 

A woman and a girl laugh while the girl plays with a doll.

Image source: Hasbro Inc.  

The results are far above those of rival Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT), which has recently disappointed, seemingly in large part because it lost its Disney licensing agreement to Hasbro in 2014. Mattel's share price ended flat for 2016. 

Now what

Hasbro shares were up more than 30% in 2016 before a sell-off in December, but that stock has risen since the start of 2017, including a 14% jump on Feb. 6 to a new high after a strong fourth-quarter and 2016 earnings report. Even though it could face more headwinds in 2017, particularly with tough comparisons over a successful 2016, the company has a lot to offer long-term bulls.

The deal between Hasbro and Disney could continue to be lucrative by riding on the latter's own franchise success, and Hasbro also has a growing gaming segment with an increasing focus on digital games. Additionally, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, who has proven to be a shrewd operator, just signed on to stay for another three years, through 2020.