Hasbro sales miss in holidays

By @ibtimes on

Hasbro Inc reported weaker-than-expected revenue in the fourth-quarter on tepid U.S. demand for games and puzzles in the biggest selling season of the year.

The results came less than a week after industry leader Mattel In handily beat Wall Street estimates in its fourth quarter covering the holidays.

Sales fell 7 percent to $1.28 billion, missing the analysts' average estimate of $1.3 billion. In January, Hasbro had warned that sales dropped unexpectedly in the fourth quarter as demand in the United States weakened toward the end of the holidays.

Cost controls and strength in emerging markets however helped Hasbro beat profit estimates.

Hasbro's net profit fell to $140.0 million, or 99 cents a share, from $165.6 million, or $1.09 a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn 92 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In the fourth quarter, sales at the company's games and puzzles segment fell 22 percent and those at its boys segment fell 1 percent. Demand for girls' toys and pre-school toys however rose.

The maker of Nerf foam toys and Monopoly board games said its international sales rose 12 percent in the quarter covering the key holiday selling season even as U.S. demand for games fell late in the year.

The No. 2 U.S. toy company also forecast a rise in sales and profits this year as its recent investments bear fruit.

This year, Hasbro will sell toys and games based on characters such as Elmo and Cookie Monster from the American children's television series Sesame Street.

Late last year, the company also launched a new children's television network The Hub in a joint venture with Discovery Communications Inc .

Its shares were down 36 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $44.46 in early Nasdaq trading.

(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan and Nivedita Bhattacharjee; Editing by Maju Samuel and Derek Caney)

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