Hasbro 4Q Profit Rises on Overall Revenue

Monday, February 6th 2006, 10:03 am
By: News On 6

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) _ Hasbro Inc., the nation's second-largest toy maker, said Monday its profit rose 15 percent in the fourth quarter as overall revenue edged higher led by strong domestic sales growth powered by Star Wars merchandise. Its shares rose more than 3 percent.

Hasbro earned $94.3 million, or 48 cents per share, for the quarter ended Dec. 25 from $81.9 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding the tax on the repatriation of foreign earnings, fourth-quarter earnings were $120.1 million, or 61 cents per diluted share.

Revenue rose 1.2 percent to $1.07 billion from $1.06 billion, as domestic toy revenue grew 16 percent. On a constant-currency basis, revenue was up 3.2 percent.

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial forecast quarterly revenue of $1.1 billion.

Its shares rose 74 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $21.49 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

For the year, the company reported net earnings of $212.1 million, or $1.09 per share, compared to $196.0 million or 96 cents per share, in 2004. Excluding the $25.8 million impact of the tax on the repatriation of foreign earnings, 2005 full-year earnings were $237.9 million, or $1.22 per diluted share.

``While I am pleased with our overall performance, in particular our Star Wars product line, the Games segment performance was below our expectations and clearly there is opportunity for improvement this year,'' said Alfred J. Verrecchia, president and chief executive.

For the year, Star Wars exceeded company expectations, generating $494.1 million in global revenue, Hasbro said.

Hasbro is second only to Mattel Inc. in the U.S. toy business. Last week, Mattel reported its fourth-quarter profit slipped 2 percent as sales of its Barbie and Hot Wheels brands slumped.