Hasbro said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in December came in at $1.33 per share, down 42% from the same period last year and well shy of the Street consensus of $1.67. Group revenues were also lower from the last quarter, falling 13% to $1.39 billion and missing the consensus forecast of $1.52 billion. Hasbro did, however, increase its quarterly dividend by 8%, 68 per share.
"2018 was a very disruptive year, driven by the bankruptcy and liquidation of Toys"R"Us across most of the world and a rapidly shifting consumer and retail landscape," said CEO Brian Goldner. "During 2018, we diversified our retailer base, meaningfully lowered retailer inventories and delivered innovative new offerings to our global consumers."
"We were not, however, able to recapture as much of the Toys"R"Us business during the holiday period as we anticipated as the effect of its liquidated inventory in the market was more impactful than we and industry experts expected," he added "It is an unprecedented yet finite event. In addition, as we discussed throughout the year, our European shipments declined as the teams successfully lowered retailer inventories amidst a declining toy and game market."
Hasbro shares fell 1% to close at $89.39 in Friday's trading after Goldner told investors on a conference call that 2019 profit growth will return thanks in part to the Thanksgiving debut of Frozen 2.
Toys R Us was also cited by Mattel Inc. (MAT - Get Report) in its fourth quarter earnings conference call last night, which included a 15% year-on-year decline in sales for Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends, to $352.2 million, which Kreiz said was largely linked to the liquidation of the retailer in the autumn of last year.
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"Fisher Price was one of the Mattel brands most heavily impacted by the liquidation of Toys "R" Us as well as challenges we have faced in China," CEO Ynon Kreiz told investors on a conference call late Thursday. "As the effects of Toys "R" Us moderate and we work through channel inventory in China, the brand will be in a better position to restore growth."
Mattel shares, however, are set to open at the highest level in three months after it posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings thanks in part to the best sales for its iconic Barbie doll in at least five years.
Mattel posted a surprise profit of 4 cents per share for the three months ended in December, against a Wall Street forecast of a 16 cents per share loss, even as revenues fell 5.4% to $1.52 billion. Barbie sales, however, surged 15% from the same period last year as one of the world's most-recognized toys continued to benefit for a make-over that reflects the growing diversity of its customer base. Hot Wheels sales, Mattel's other top brand, rose 12% to $286.8 million.
Mattel shares 23% in trading Friday, closing at $15.23, the highest since November 2 and a move that values the El Segundo, California-based group at just under $5 billion.