Hasbro Profit Helped by Girls Toys

The toymaker Hasbro made a surprise improvement in earnings thanks to lower costs and sales soaring for girls’ toys.

Hasbro said it made a profit during the first quarter as earnings topped expectations of analysts, even though revenue fell short.

The results from Hasbro demonstrate improvement amidst a continued difficulty in the children’s toy industry as kids turn more to consumer electronics and electronic games.

Last week Mattel, a rival toy maker posted a loss during the first quarter that was a surprise on Wall Street as its core brands such as Fisher-Price and Barbie suffered declines in sales.

Hasbro’s boys’ toy sales including brands such as Transformers, which has a new film appearing in theaters sometime this year, were up 2.1% to finish the quarter at $247.7 million.

Demand for toys by Hasbro traditionally considered being for girls, like My Little Pony, has had good growth in the most recent quarters. Sales in the category were up 21% to end the quarter at $138.6 million.

Game sales dropped by 4.5% to end the quarter at $220.4 million, while preschool sales were down 3.6% to just over $72.5 million.

Hasbro’s profit for the quarter was $32.1 million equal to 24 cents per share. That was compared to a loss of $6.71 million equal to 40 cents per share from the same period one year ago.

Excluding other items and tax benefits, earnings per share were up from five cents to 14 cents.

The adjusted earnings per share from the same period one year ago excluded a 14 cents negative impact that was related to costs for restructuring and other costs.

Revenue at the toymaker was up by 2.4% to end the quarter at $679.4 million.

Analysts projected quarterly earnings to be 10 cents per share and $690 million in revenue.

Gross margin was wider as it went from 59.7% to 61.9%. Input costs were down by 3.4% and overhead expenses dropped by 4.6%.

Canada and U.S. sales were down by 1.3%, with the growth in revenue from Girls’ toys offset by other segments that fell. International sales were down by 5.4%.

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