Hasbro profit misses the mark as toy maker faces high inventory and inflation

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A worker arranges boxes of Hasbro board games on a shelf at a Target Corp. location in Emeryville, California.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Hasbro reported third-quarter earnings Tuesday morning that fell short of analysts’ expectations as inflation weighed on consumers and the company contended with high levels of inventory.

The toy maker also faced tough comparisons from a year ago when it benefitted from multiple film releases such as “My Little Pony: A New Generationand “Come From Away.” Surging inflation added to the pressure.

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“As expected, the third quarter is our most difficult comparison and was further impacted by increasing price sensitivity for the average consumer,” CEO Chris Cocks said in an earnings release.

He expanded on this point in a conference call Tuesday morning, saying that promotions “have become increasingly important” in driving product sales. The company reported high inventory, which is currently afflicting retailers across the board. Hasbro said in an investor presentation that its inventory should help it meet holiday demand.

Shares were down more than 2% Tuesday morning, hitting a new 52-week low.

Here’s how the toy maker performed compared with Wall Street estimates, according to Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1.42 vs. $1.52 expected.
  • Revenue: $1.68 billion vs. $1.68 billion expected.

Revenue for the period fell 15% compared to last year, dragged down by a 35% decrease in entertainment revenue. Its Wizards of the Coast unit, which includes “Dungeons & Dragons” and “Magic: The Gathering,” saw revenues decline 16%.

As prices for goods and supplies surge, the toy and game giant has increased prices for products like Nerf Blasters and My Little Pony figures.

For the fourth quarter, the company expects flat results versus last year, buoyed by the “Magic: The Gathering” brand. The digital and trading card game has grown into the company’s first $1 billion brand and the 30th anniversary of the game occurs in the fourth quarter.

The company also pointed to several upcoming releases, including Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and the company’s own “Transformers: EarthSpark,” which the company will produce merchandise for during the fourth quarter and beyond.

With the holidays approaching, the toymaker said it plans to “sell through inventory” in the fourth quarter as it seeks to stick to its plan of focusing on fewer, bigger brands and more licensing.

Cocks told “Closing Bell” in early October that the toy market remains resilient even through bad times.

Read the earnings release here.

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