You can go lukewarm on Luke Skywalker and lay off the Leia and still deliver the goods. Toymaker Hasbro
Earnings per share rose 23% higher to hit $0.58 on a 5% uptick in net revenues. Analysts were expecting the top line to dip and for earnings to clock in at just $0.50 a share. It's clearly a blowout report from the Stock Advisor newsletter recommendation, though a little fiscal color makes the numbers easier to understand.
For starters, 23% sounds like a huge gain for Hasbro -- and it is -- but the figure is partly inflated by an ambitious share repurchase plan in place that found the company buying back 6.6 million shares. Actual net income only rose 8%. The difference between 23% and 8% is the result of the lower number of shares outstanding into which earnings get divided when arriving at the bottom-line per-share figure.
It's also worth pointing out that if you back out Star Wars-related toys, net revenues at Hasbro grew a more impressive 13%. You can thank the success of the company's own lines like Littlest Pet Shop, Playskool, Nerf, and Play-Doh. Naturally, results can look pretty sweet when you don't have to pay out chunky licensing royalties the way the company does on its Star Wars playthings. That likely played a part in the operating margin improvement for the quarter.
What is encouraging here is that a lot of the company's third-quarter hits appear to be games and toys geared toward the younger set. We know that video games and portable music players are going to be a competitively heated market for teens and tweens, but Hasbro and rival Mattel
Hasbro may not have a T.M.X. Elmo smash on its hands like Mattel, but demand has been brisk for its Monopoly Here and Now, which updates its classic board game with new iconic properties and more realistic prices. I guess it's about time, because we all knew that Boardwalk was a steal for just $400.
Then again, after watching Mattel and JAKKS Pacific
Mattel is an Inside Value newsletter service selection, while Hasbro has been recommended by David Gardner for his Stock Advisor subscribers. Take the newsletter that best fits your investing style for a 30-day free trial.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a kid at heart. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.