Hasbro results beat as toymaker moves past Toys 'R' Us collapse

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(Reuters) – Toymaker Hasbro Inc topped Wall Street estimates for profit and revenue in the second quarter as it emerged from the worst effects of last year's Toys 'R' Us bankruptcy, sending its shares up nearly 12 percent.

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The company, like other U.S. toymakers, was hit hard by the sooner-than-expected liquidation of Toys 'R' Us and had said it would get through the worst by the latter half of the year.

"We are focused on moving beyond the near-term disruption of losing a major customer, with a clear path forward including new retailer activations to meet the consumer demand made available by the Toys 'R' Us departure," Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner said in a statement. "(This year) is unfolding as expected."

Hasbro has partnered with big media producers like Walt Disney to produce toys based on popular movie franchises like Star Wars and Marvel's superheroes.

In its latest move to expand its brand portfolio, the company spent $522 million in May to add characters from the superhero TV show Power Rangers to its line of products.

For the quarter, net earnings fell 11 percent to $60.3 million, or 48 cents per share, but topped analysts' average estimate of 29 cents per share – their biggest beat in nearly two years, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.


The company's overall revenue fell 7 percent to $904.5 million in the quarter, but was nearly half the drop that analysts were expecting. Analysts on an average were estimating revenue of $833.1 million.

Revenue from Hasbro's franchise brands segment, which makes Monopoly and Baby Alive and generates nearly half of its total revenue, fell 8 percent.

But the decline was much softer than the 30 percent drop anticipated by Linda Bolton Weiser, a D.A. Davidson analyst with four-star rating.

The only segment to report a rise in revenue was the entertainment and licensing business, which rose nearly 26 percent to $64.7 million in the quarter.

"While product sales were weak in Q2, the benefits of entertainment and licensing was a meaningful offset," Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink said in a note.

Shares of the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company, which was trading at $104.90 before the bell, was set to open at its highest in over five months.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sweta Singh and Arun Koyyur)

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