Hasbro profit tops estimates, sales miss
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* Third-quarter profit $1.24/shr vs Street view $1.20
* Sales $1.35 bln vs Street view $1.38 bln
* To boost marketing efforts in the holidays
* Sees results up for the full year, excluding currency impact (Adds 2012 outlook, background, byline)
Hasbro Inc topped Wall Street profit expectations on Monday as better inventory management helped offset weak sales at the second-largest U.S. toymaker.
The news came after larger rival Mattel Inc also reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by price increases and cost controls. The maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars said it was well-positioned for the holidays. .
Hasbro, whose brands include Monopoly, G.I. Joe, Nerf and Mr. Potato Head, has been working with its U.S. retail partners to better manage inventories this year. It has been trying to shift toy deliveries closer to peak demand periods.
It struggled during the 2011 holiday season when demand in the United States and Canada tapered off after a strong start to what is typically the biggest selling season of the year.
On Monday, Hasbro Chief Financial Officer Deborah Thomas said it plans to step up its marketing efforts in what she described as an environment of significantly lower U.S. retail inventory.
The toymaker said it expects to grow revenues and earnings per share for the full year 2012, excluding the impact of foreign exchange.
Net profit in the third quarter fell to $164.9 million, or $1.24 a share, from $171.0 million, or $1.27 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average expected $1.20 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales fell 2 percent to $1.35 billion, below analysts' average estimate of $1.38 billion. Hasbro's girls' toys unit, reinvigorated by the launch of hot toys such as Furby, saw a 17 percent rise in revenue, but sales at its boys' toys unit fell 12 percent, and those at its preschool unit fell 5 percent.
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