What happened

Shares of Hasbro (HAS -0.68%) charged sharply higher Thursday morning, surging as much as 13.5%. As of 12:21 p.m. ET, the stock is still up 13.4%.

The catalyst that sent the toymaker's stock higher was quarterly financial results that were surprisingly strong.

So what

For the first quarter, Hasbro's revenue grew 14% year over year to $1 billion, resulting in adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.01. To put those numbers in context, analysts' consensus estimates were calling for revenue of $877 million and a loss per share of $0.01, so Hasbro's performance was much better than expected. 

Given the difficult economy, toy sales continue to be anemic, but there was good news. Helping boost the results was strong demand for Hasbro's tabletop and trading card game, Magic: The Gathering, as revenue grew 16% year over year.

Also helping fuel the positive outcome was "strong critical acclaim and audience reviews" for Hasbro's movie Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. The box office hit was rated 90% fresh on online review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, with an audience score of 93%. The movie, based on Hasbro's tabletop fantasy role-playing game, has generated $179 million in worldwide box office during its first three weeks in theaters. The successful theatrical run is also boosting demand for the popular game.

Hasbro could also get a boost from the upcoming cinematic release of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which is scheduled to debut on June 9. 

The company also said it had made "significant progress" in its turnaround efforts by focusing on profitable projects and cutting costs. It expects to realize roughly $150 million in annual cost savings this year, increasing that to between $250 million and $300 million by 2025.  

Hasbro is continuing to work on the previously announced sale of the film and television assets of eOne and expects to provide an update in the second quarter.

Now what

Hasbro reiterated its full-year forecast, which is guiding for revenue that's expected to decline by low single digits, with adjusted EPS and adjusted EBITDA essentially flat compared to last year.

While challenges remain, Hasbro has shown it still has game and is likely setting the stage for a strong rebound when the economy recovers.