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'Star Wars,' the force behind Hasbro sales

'Star Wars' fuels Hasbro sales
'Star Wars' fuels Hasbro sales

Hasbro shares hit an all-time high after its first quarter earnings beat forecasts, powered by toys based on the movies "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Frozen."

Hasbro was trading as high as $88 after the toymaker beat estimates by 14 cents with quarterly profit of 38 cents per share. Revenues topped analysts' forecasts by a wide margin as well.

Toys based on "Star Wars," and Disney princesses fueled growth last quarter, Hasbro said. Shares closed up 5.79 percent at $87.18.

"Demand for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' products continued to be high, and we benefited from the addition of Disney Princess and 'Frozen' fashion and small dolls," Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner said in the company's quarterly report."We are very encouraged with global demand and our outlook for 2016."

A poster from the original 1977 Star wars film.
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Growth in the boys category increased 24 percent while girls sales jumped 41 percent and the preschool category increased 12 percent, boosted by Play-Doh.

Despite strong growth numbers, Hasbro says some retailers in emerging markets are displaying some weakness with emerging markets revenues down 7 percent in the quarter.

Still though, Hasbro's first quarter earnings beat comes as the toy industry rebounds, posting its strongest sales in more than a decade in 2015, according to NPD Group Inc.

In a call with investors, Goldner said "The state of the industry is quite strong and our indications are from projections that they will remain strong for the next several years,"

Rival toymaker Mattel reports earnings on Wednesday.

Shares of Hasbro are up about 20 percent over the last 3 months, and nearly 30 percent over the past year.