Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) held its annual analyst meeting in Pawtucket, the Rhode Island, Wednesday and Wedbush Securities analyst Edward Woo came away with a continued positive view on the company.
Hasbro remains upbeat about its outlook and, though it did not comment on current sales, it maintained 2011 guidance for meaningful growth for revenue and EPS from 2010.
Based on his channel checks, Woo believes Hasbro is tracking in-line with his 2011 estimates for revenue of $4.37 billion, and EPS of $3.00, versus 2010's revenue of $4.00 billion and EPS of $2.74. The company provided initial guidance for 2012 revenue and EPS to grow again from 2011.
Hasbro expects Preschool, Girls, and Games to be up, while Boys will be flat. 2012 will be driven by five major movie properties (Battleship, GI Joe, Star Wars Episode 1 3D, Avengers, and Spider-Man) which should offset the three in 2011 (Transformers, Captain America, and Thor). 2012 top toy initiatives include Sesame Street, Playskool, Nerf, Kre-O, My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop.
The company remains positive on its entertainment strategy and HUB cable channel. Woo believes Hub, a 50/50 joint venture with Discovery Communications launched Oct. 10, 2010, remains on track. Though Hasbro acknowledged lower than expected viewership for HUB, it cited continued improvement since launch.
Despite recent missed results, we remain positive on the company. We continue to like Hasbro longer term due to its favorable valuation, 12 times of 2011 EPS, compared with 14 to 16 times historical average), 3.5 percent dividend yield, and growth opportunities in its entertainment business, said Woo.
Though Woo remains concerned near term about consumers and the economy, he believes international and entertainment opportunities will drive its long term goals for 5 percent annual revenue growth, and 15 percent operating margins.
We believe that the company has a solid lineup of holiday toys. Must-have toys are expected to include NERF Vortex, Let's Rock! Elmo, Poppin' Park, Transformers, Beyblade, and Star Wars, said Woo.
The brokerage maintained its outperform rating on shares of Hasbro with a price target of $45.
Hasbro stock is trading up 1.40 percent at $36.96 on the NASDAQ Stock Market at 9:35 am EST.