Hasbro posts surprise revenue drop as Star Wars toys fail to shine

(Reuters) - Toymaker Hasbro Inc <HAS.O> reported a surprise fall in quarterly revenue on Wednesday due to a decline in sales of its toys based on the Star Wars franchise and the lingering impact of the bankruptcy of retailer Toys 'R' Us.

The company's shares fell 3.2 percent to $90.94 before the bell. The toy industry was jolted by the retailer's collapse last October, forcing Hasbro, rival Mattel <MAT.O> and other toy makers to find other outlets for sales during the all-important holiday season.

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The maker of My Little Pony and Nerf guns, had prewarned in October that holiday sales would be hit by the bankruptcy of Toys 'R' Us - one of biggest sellers of Hasbro's toys.

Hasbro has focused on linking its toys to big movie franchises like Star Wars and The Avengers, which have created a new generation of young fans through video games and apps.

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' London premiere:

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'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' London premiere
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'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' London premiere
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Prince Harry and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Prince Harry and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: (L-R) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Prince Harry attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Prince Harry attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Prince Harry is pictured with a Stormtroppers helmet as he attends the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is pictured with a Stormtroppers helmet and Eloisa Lerner, 8 yeard old, as they attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Actors Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Daisy Ridley (left) and Mark Hamill attending the european premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi held at The Royal Albert Hall, London. (Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein / WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Actress Daisy Ridley attends the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Actress Laura Dern attends the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Actress Kelly Marie Tran attends the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Gwendoline Christie attending the european premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi held at The Royal Albert Hall, London. (Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)
Daisy Ridley attending the european premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi held at The Royal Albert Hall, London. (Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: John Boyega attends the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at the Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Kelly Marie Tran attends the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Actor Adam Driver attends the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Actor John Boyega attends the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Actors Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill attend the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Actor Mark Hamill attends the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' at Royal Albert Hall on December 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
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However, 2017 was the worst year for movie ticket sales since 1992, according to Box Office Mojo, as moviegoers lost interest in sequels, in turn affecting the market for toys based on movie characters like Iron Man and Luke Skywalker.

"A decline in Partner Brands and Europe revenues resulted in us not meeting our fourth quarter revenue expectations," Hasbro Chief Executive Brian Goldner said.

Net revenue from the company's partner brands unit, which includes toys based on movie franchises, fell 21 percent to $342.9 million.

"Our Partner Brands estimate of +8% could be too high as Stars Wars could have been below expectations," D.A. Davidson analyst Linda Weiser wrote in a pre-earnings note.

The Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company's revenue fell 2.1 percent to $1.6 billion, while analysts had expected it to rise to $1.72 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Excluding items, the company earned $2.30 per share.

Hasbro reported a net loss attributable to the company of $5.3 million, or 4 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, due to a $296.5 million charge related to the U.S. tax overhaul.

A year earlier, the company posted profit of $192.7 million, or $1.52 per share.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

 

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