Hasbro Vaults on Toy Sales

Strong sales of "Star Wars" and "Frozen 2" toys helped boost Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) holiday sales during the fourth quarter, sending shares of the company Through the roof Tuesday.

Net income rose to $267.3 million, or $2.01 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 29, from $8.8 million, or seven cents per share, a year earlier. Earnings in the latest period were helped by a one-time benefit of $102.5 million from gains in foreign currency hedging.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.24 per share, higher than analysts’ estimate of 91 cents.

Net revenue rose 2.8% to $1.43 billion, but missed the estimate of $1.44 billion.

Revenue from Hasbro’s partner brands unit, which includes sales of toys based on entertainment franchises, rose nearly 50% to $408.5 million in the fourth quarter.

For the full year, partner brands rose 24% to $1.22 billion. Hasbro pointed to strong sales of "Frozen 2," "Avengers," "Spider-Man" and "Star Wars" lines for the increase.

The company’s games segment suffered during the fourth quarter, with revenue falling 8% to $246.4 million. While sales of Dungeons and Dragons remained strong, dwindling purchases of Pie Face and Speak Out weighed on sales.

To quote CEO Brian Goldner, "The global Hasbro team delivered a good year and achieved key objectives we set for 2019. We profitably grew revenues across regions absent foreign exchange supported by the successful execution of our channel strategy; we delivered growth in MAGIC: THE GATHERING driven by the successful launch of Arena and we executed at a high level during the holiday season."

HAS shares jumped $3.95, or 3.9%, early Tuesday morning to $104.85