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Shares of DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) jumped more than 15% Thursday following reports it's in early talks to be acquired by Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS). Hasbro stock initially fell more than 5% on the news.
Why it's happening
This comes on the heels of strong third-quarter results from both companies, as well as previous chatter that Dreamworks was in similar buyout talks with Japan's Softbank. Nonetheless, even after today's pop shares of DreamWorks are still down around 27% year to date.
But it's worth noting Hasbro, in particular, also just revealed it's using its Allspark Pictures studio to produce movies for nationwide theatrical release. Tucking DreamWorks' superior animation capabilities into its backpack could yield obvious synergies to advance those ambitions. Hasbro could also benefit from DreamWorks' promising television production business, which last quarter generated just 2% of overall sales and earnings, but also has contracted commitments for more than 1,200 episodes of original animated content.
What remains to be seen, however, is whether Hasbro is willing and able to pay up for its prize. DreamWorks is reportedly seeking an acquisition price of around $2.5 billion, or $34 per share -- a big toy to swallow given Hasbro's $7.2 billion market cap as of this writing.