Hasbro Says Sales Fell Last Year as Consumers Spent Less Than Expected

Hasbro Inc., the world’s second- biggest toymaker, said revenue for 2010 unexpectedly dropped as U.S. consumers spent less than anticipated during the holidays.

Sales fell to about $4 billion last year from $4.07 billion a year earlier, the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company said today in a statement. Hasbro predicted in October that sales would climb, and analysts on average projected a rise to $4.11 billion, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Declining sales in North America, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the total, overshadowed increases abroad, the toymaker said. Hasbro, which trails only Mattel Inc., counts Nerf, My Little Pony and G.I. Joe among its toy brands, and started a children’s television network, The Hub, with Discovery Communications Inc. last year.

“Our brand innovation and strong entertainment initiatives should enable us to deliver both revenue and earnings per share growth in 2011,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner said in the statement.

Hasbro fell 16 cents to $44.49 at 4:01 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares gained 47 percent last year, more than three times the pace of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Toy ‘softness’

Hasbro’s report came after some stores fell short of projections in the holiday period. Target Corp., the second- biggest U.S. discount retailer after Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said last week that December sales trailed expectations, hurt by “softness” in toys and electronics.

Full-year per-share profit probably rose from $2.48 a year earlier, Hasbro said. Analysts on average projected earnings of $2.71 a share, excluding some items. The company plans to report full results Feb. 7.

Some economic indicators suggest U.S. consumer spending is strengthening as job prospects improve. Sales at U.S. retailers rose in December for a sixth straight month, capping the biggest one-year gain in more than a decade, according to Commerce Department figures released today.

In June, Hasbro disputed reports that it was in talks regarding a possible takeover, saying its board snubbed overtures from a buyout firm. Providence Equity Partners Inc. had been in discussions with the toymaker before that, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Alnwick in New York at jalnwick@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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