Hasbro's fourth quarter earnings missed estimates with a wide margin, but investors drew the news after the company outlined a promising slate with new toys for 2019.
"2018 was a very disruptive year, driven by bankruptcy and liquidation of Toys R Us worldwide and a fast changing consumer and retail landscapes, "said Brian Goldner, Hasbro's CEO. in a statement Friday. "In 2018, we diversified our reseller base, greatly reduced reseller inventory and provided innovative new offers to our global consumers.
" However, we could not resume so much of the Toys R Us business during the holidays as we expected as the effect of liquidated holdings in the market was more efficient than we and industry experts expected, "he said." It is an unprecedented but final event. "
Prior to bankruptcy proceedings, Toys R Us was Hasbro's third largest customer in the United States and the second largest customer in Europe and Asia, Goldner said during a earnings conference Friday 19659003] Hasbro reported a net income of $ 8.8 million, or 7 cents per share, compared to a loss of $ 5.3 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier, as it took a one-time fee related to changes in US tax law.
Only specific items earned $ 1.33 per share, below analyst estimates of $ 1.67 per share, according to Refinitiv.
In Income fell 13 percent to $ 1.39 billion in the quarter from $ 1.6 billion the year before. Analysts had expected revenues of $ 1.52 billion.
Hasbro and competing toy maker Mattel had to shrink to find new retail outlets for their products in the wake of Toys R Us & # 39; bankruptcy.
While a number of retailers, including Target, Walmart, and even drugstores, expanded their toy sections this past holiday season, there were still far fewer shelves showing toys in 2018 than in previous years. The loss in the shelf space seemed disproportionately affecting items such as plush toys, kits and sports toys.
Sales in the toy industry fell 2 percent last year, when toy manufacturers endured their first Christmas without toys R Us for more than 60 years. In the US, customers spent $ 21.6 billion on toys in 2018, less than the $ 22 billion that was awarded for action figures, puppets and games in 2017, according to market researcher NPD Group.
Hasbro's portfolio was a great success in the quarter. Sales of franchise brands, such as Nerf, Monopoly and My Little Pony, fell 8 percent, and partners including "Star Wars", "Frozen" and "Marvel" goods fell 20 percent in the fourth quarter.
Especially Disney did not launch a Star Wars movie during the fourth quarter of this year, and therefore, the sale of Star Wars goods had a difficult comparison with last year's Star Wars release: The Last Jedi.
The company's gaming category, which includes Magic: The Gathering and Monopoly, also took a success with 22 percent.
The only bright spot was Hasbro's new brands, playing like Lost Kitties and Yellies, which were up 5 percent during the period.  In 2019, Hasbro should benefit from a variety of entertainment licenses. The company will sell toys from films such as "Star Wars: Episode IX", "Captain Marvel", "Avengers: Endgame" and "Frozen 2" throughout the year. In the past, "Star Wars" toys alone have accumulated more than $ 500 million in sales in the quarter where they were sold.
"We also see the opening of a new amusement park in Galaxy's Edge, which is both in Anaheim and Orlando, and we reach the end of the movie" Star Wars: Episode IX & # 39; which debuts in the theaters in December, and the effect of the film and all our efforts will be over both 2019 and 2020, Sa Goldner. "So we are very happy for a year-round effort."