Photographer: Charles Sykes/AP Images for Hasbro Inc.

Disney Princess Franchise Helps Hasbro Crush Sales Estimates

  • Shares surge most in a year after revenue gains 14 percent
  • Hasbro snatched away Princess and Frozen licenses from Mattel

Hasbro Inc.’s acquisition of the Disney Princess franchise from Mattel Inc., one of the toy industry’s biggest turnabouts in recent years, paid off in the company’s latest results.

Sales of Hasbro toys aimed at girls surged 57 percent to $462 million in the third quarter, the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company said on Monday. That compares with a 2 percent increase for boys’ products. Much of the sales gain came from Disney Princess and Frozen licenses, which Hasbro snatched away from Mattel in a 2014 deal.

Total revenue rose 14 percent to $1.68 billion, well above analysts calling for growth of about 5 percent to $1.55 billion. Excluding some items, earnings amounted to $2.03 a share. Analysts had projected $1.74. The results helped send Hasbro shares up as much as 8.3 percent in New York.

Hasbro began selling the Disney-licensed dolls and other products this year. So far, the company is on pace to generate more revenue from the Disney Princess and Frozen licenses in 2016 than Mattel did last year, said Jaime Katz, an analyst at Morningstar Inc.

“They are allocating the resources to make the product launch successful,” she said.

Holiday Omen?

Gaining the Disney licenses ratcheted up Hasbro’s competition for girls with Mattel. But the latest results are seen as a good sign for the overall industry as it heads into the holiday season. Mattel still has a strong hold on the girls’ category with its top-selling product, Barbie.

Hasbro shares rose as high as $82.48 in New York on Monday, their biggest intraday gain since April 2015. Mattel climbed as much as 3 percent to $31 before retreating. It was little changed as of 11:56 a.m.

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