Shareholders at Hasbro received their wish during the holiday season as the toymaker posted sales that set new record topping $5 billion for the first time ever in the 94 years the toymaker has been in business.
On Monday, the toymaker posted sales for its fourth quarter that were up 11% to end the quarter at $1.63 billion equal to $1.64 per share, which was well above the estimate by analysts of sales of $1.5 billion and per share earnings of $1.28.
Investors were very pleased with the news helping send Hasbro stock up over 15% in Monday morning trading. These results contrast with its biggest rival Mattel, which in January posted a drop in sales that it said was due in part to sharp discounts during its key holiday shopping season.
CEO Brian Goldner said that the company finished its year strong ranking No. 1 in the industry during December amongst the biggest nine markets.
The strong results by Hasbro contradict what has taken place across much of the retail sector where many executives said spending during the all-important holiday season focused on just two periods the holiday weekend of Thanksgiving and the final week leading up to Christmas.
However, the first 20 days of December experience a lull in traffic at retailers and spending that caused deep discounts.
However, Hasbro was helped by its big licensing partner Walt Disney and the popular Star Wars products that last year fueled sales for the industry.
Disney is known for releasing its Star Wars movies late each year with two being release this past December. Because of that, Hasbro receives a boost late in the season from that property line as well as its boost from normal holiday sales.
Though revenue from Star Wars declined just slightly in 2016 for Hasbro, the company announced it was confident it would sell through its inventory in the first six months of 2017, as more new products are shipped to retailers.
Hasbro will benefit again with the Star Wars release of The Last Jedi during the latter part of the year.
Its close relationship with Disney helps Hasbro become much more dominant in toys. Hasbro won the important license for Disney Princess from Mattel and last year was the first year Hasbro began making toys under that agreement.
Because of that, the company’s girls sector, which includes Trolls and My Little Pony, posted a sales increase of 50% last year.
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