Hasbro, Mattel Earnings Offer Key Insights to Toy Stock Traders

Hasbro and Mattel offer a key insights to those looking at toys and retail post Toys R Us.
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Hasbro (HAS) - Get Report and Mattel (MAT) - Get Report results might not look similar, but brought together they offer a key insight into the toy trade for investors.

That key factor is an idea of just how much each company is levered to other industries or retailers.

For Hasbro, its become apparent that an over-reliance on the defunct Toys R Us and the movie slate offered by Disney (DIS) - Get Report is a key risk.

"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," Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner explained.

He noted that while the company worked to diversify its retail base, it was not able to generate the same sales without this key partner.

"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," Goldner added.

Additionally, the tie-in to Star Wars, Frozen, and Disney princesses makes the company quite reliant on the entertainment industry buoying results, as evidenced by the earnings disappointment felt without these franchises int eh fourth quarter of 2018.

Luckily for Hasbro, this trend should alleviate in 2019, as that schedule picks up again.

"The Walt Disney Company continues to set the standard for tremendous stories with highly merchandisable content, and 2019 is poised to be another amazing year," Goldner commented. "The Disney Princess franchise will benefit from new entertainment including the live-action Aladdin film in theaters this May. The highly anticipated theatrical's release Disney Animation's Frozen 2 is set to debut 2019 and will be a factor in both 2019 and 2020. Hasbro is supporting the film with a complete line of fashion and small dolls, play sets, castles, Play-Doh products, and games. In addition, Trolls will release all new theatrical entertainment in 2020."

That offers some hope for those feeling the pain of a stock plunge on Friday morning.

However, Mattel's surge over 20% on Friday morning is significantly more encouraging, as it is contingent on no other industry but its own, and is actually leveraging the movie industry to promote its own products that are already seeing strong sales.

"In terms of brand highlights, 2018 was a great year for Barbie, which sustained growth and continued momentum globally. Barbie worldwide gross sales were up 15% both for the quarter and the full year in constant currency," Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz told investors on the conference call late Thursday. "Barbie was the number one global fashion doll property in 2018 according to NPD. We look forward to celebrating her 60th anniversary throughout 2019 with a number of exciting product launches and events."

In the end, the product is what matters and if there is no need to rely upon other companies to support your products selling, that sustains a strong outlook.

As such, it should be no surprise we're dealing with two very different tales of toy makers.

Head over to Real Money for more a deep dive on Hasbro.

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