Playtime isn't over for Hasbro
Net revenue grew 8%, to $672.4 million, during the first three months of the year, though a favorable foreign exchange impact padded results. On a constant currency basis, Hasbro's top line would have mustered only a 5% advance. Earnings nearly tripled to $0.40 a share, but that also included a positive tax adjustment. Back that out and net income still would have nearly doubled to $0.26 a share.
In other words, the results as reported may be taller than reality suggests, but don't be alarmed. Strip away the platform shoes and Hasbro still landed well ahead of Mr. Market's expectations of $0.16 a share in earnings on $642.7 million in revenue.
It's an impressive showing. This is, after all, the lull in the toy industry's seasonality. It is the third and fourth quarters when shipments ramp up in anticipation of the telltale holiday season. Hasbro is rockin' in calm times, and it's an encouraging sign for the economy that its toy shelves need to be restocked.
It's not just Hasbro. Larger rival Mattel
Hasbro's strength came across all of its major categories as boys (up 3%), games and puzzles category (up 7%), girls (up 16%), and preschool (up 18%) all rose during the period.
The toy maker isn't going to rest on its laurels. Hasbro also announced a $625 million share repurchase plan this morning, and it's not just lip service. It has bought back $1.6 billion worth of stock over the past five years.
Hasbro is cautious about the current quarter. Last summer it was shipping new toys in anticipation of its Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises hitting the big screen. However, it ultimately expects to grow on the top and bottom line this year, despite its investment in cable television.
Hasbro? A television star? Well, it's in a joint venture with Discovery Communications
Are toys recession-resistant? Share your perspective in the comment box below.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a kid at heart with the closet full of games to prove it. 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 that is harmful only if it's not swallowed.
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