Hasbro 4Q Earnings Fall

Toy maker Hasbro Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit dropped 16 percent as U.S. demand for games waned later in the year.

PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island (AP) -- Toy maker Hasbro Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit dropped 16 percent as U.S. demand for games waned later in the year.

Its earnings still beat Wall Street's expectations while revenue was slightly below estimates.

The fourth quarter is a crucial one for toy makers because it includes the holiday season. The period can often make up nearly a third of annual revenue.

President and CEO Brian Goldner said in a statement that international revenue climbed on strength in emerging markets. But he noted that the company had a difficult comparison to a year ago, which was helped by sales of "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe" toys. Hasbro had fewer brands tied to its toys this year.

Some of Hasbro's other brands include Nerf, Playskool and My Little Pony.

The toy maker expects stronger results in 2011 when it will have a full year of The Hub television network as well as its "Transformers" brand making a return to the movies with the film "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

Hasbro said Monday that its net income fell to $140 million, or 99 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 26 compared with $165.6 million, or $1.09 per share, a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected lower earnings of 93 cents per share.

Revenue dropped 7 percent to $1.28 billion from $1.38 billion a year ago, missing Wall Street's average estimate of $1.31 billion.

Hasbro, based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, warned in January that revenue would likely fall as demand slowed late in the holiday season. Foreign exchange had a $23.5 million drag on the quarterly revenue results.

In its U.S. and Canada segment, fourth-quarter revenue declined to $604.8 million from $760.7 million. International revenue improved to $617.9 million from $549.9 million, while entertainment and licensing segment revenue fell to $53.5 million from $62.1 million.

Among its products, the biggest revenue dropoff was reported by the games and puzzles category, which declined 22 percent. Girls' products reported a 10 percent revenue increase, while revenue for boys' products dipped 1 percent. Revenue for preschool products rose 4 percent.

Last week rival Mattel reported its quarterly profit edged down while revenue rose.

For the year, Hasbro said its net income climbed 6 percent to $397.8 million, or $2.74 per share, from $374.9 million, or $2.48 per share, in the previous year.

The full-year results included a favorable tax adjustment of $21.2 million, or 15 cents per share. Excluding the adjustment, earnings were $2.59 per share.

Annual revenue dipped 2 percent to $4 billion from $4.07 billion. Foreign exchange hurt revenue by $17.7 million.

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