UPDATE 4-Hasbro suffers as action figures lose sheen in iPad era
July 22 (Reuters) - A shift by young boys from action figures to iPads and other mobile devices during play time hurt Hasbro Inc, which posted lower-than-expected quarterly earnings on Monday.
The second-largest U.S. toymaker, home to G.I. Joe, Nerf and Mr. Potato Head, said revenue in its boys' toy business fell 35 percent to $253.7 million in the second quarter, overshadowing growth in the girls, games, and preschool units. Hasbro's boy segment has posted sales declines in five consecutive quarters.
Hasbro was the third toymaker to fall short of Wall Street expectations in the second quarter. Unlike the second quarter of 2012, Hasbro had fewer movie franchises supporting its toys modeled on Marvel characters such as Spider-Man and the Avengers this year.
Also, Hasbro's traditional action figures and other toys are competing for boys' attention with electronics, iPads and mobile devices, MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler said.
"Girls still have a very much of a nurturing element and still play with dolls. Boys are gravitating towards electronics at an earlier age now," Handler said.
Last week, larger rival Mattel Inc posted a much weaker-than-expected profit on sluggish Barbie doll sales. Also, smaller toymaker Jakks Pacific Inc slashed its full-year forecast, saying several retailers in the United States and Europe had cut orders for its key products.
Analysts, including Handler and Needham's Sean McGowan, said investors should not to read too much into the second quarter as it is a seasonally weak quarter. Both of them like Mattel shares over Hasbro going into the second half.
HASBRO MISSES ESTIMATES
Hasbro's second-quarter net profit fell to $36.5 million, or 28 cents a share, from $43.4 million, or 33 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding a pension charge, it earned 29 cents a share, missing analysts' average estimate of 34 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Hasbro shares, up more than 26 percent this year, rose 1.6 percent to $46.10 in early trading.
The company, which counts retailers Wal-Mart Stores Inc , Target Corp and Toys R Us Inc among its customers, said total quarterly sales fell 6 percent to $766.3 million. Analysts expected $794.7 million.
Hasbro said it expanded its partnership with Walt Disney Co , getting the rights to make toys and games for Marvel characters such as Spider-Man, the Avengers and Iron Man through 2020. Hasbro's rights for the Star Wars franchise, which Disney bought recently, also runs through 2020.