Hasbro hit by coronavirus delays of big movies


Hasbro’s Hollywood strategy is taking a hit from COVID-19.

The toy giant said Monday it has been slammed by coronavirus-related delays of big movie releases with toy tie-ins — among them “Black Widow” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” — both of which have been pushed back to next year.

Shares of the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company tanked more than 10 percent in Monday afternoon trades.

Despite strong demand for board games like Monopoly, its results paled versus those of archrival Mattel, whose Barbie-driven sales spurt, reported on Thursday, had sent its stock soaring nearly 10 percent.

As schools in many parts of the country continue to hold classes online and outdoor activities remain limited, parents have turned to toys and board games to keep their children occupied, boosting sales for both Hasbro and Mattel.

Total revenue from all of Hasbro’s gaming brands including Monopoly, Scrabble and Dungeons & Dragons jumped 21 percent to about $543 million in the third quarter.

While Hasbro said it was positioned well for a “good” holiday, it stopped short of providing a sales forecast — unlike Mattel, which last week said it expected mid-single-digit growth in gross sales for the crucial shopping season.

The company also said coronavirus-induced production delays pushed revenue from its TV, film and entertainment business down 28 percent to $165.7 million. In addition to Disney’s “Black Widow” and Columbia Pictures’ “Ghostbusters,” movies with Hasbro tie-ins that have been delayed include Paramount Pictures’ GI Joe prequel “Snake Eyes.”

Hasbro’s shares had risen by more than 25 percent over the past several weeks, BMO Capital analyst Gerrick Johnson noted. But its financial results were “not as good as what Mattel reported,” he added.

The company’s net revenue rose 12.8 percent to $1.78 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 27, beating analysts’ average estimate of $1.75 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Earnings rose 3.7 percent to $220.9 million from a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, Hasbro posted earnings of $1.88 per share, beating estimates of $1.63 per share.

“Live-action entertainment production is returning,” Hasbro Chief Executive Brian Goldner said in a statement, “and we are set to improve deliveries in the fourth quarter with some moving into 2021.”

With Reuters

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