Monday, 16 February 2015

Hasbro playing well with Disney

The toymaker Hasbro (HAS) has got game. Their brands reported record earnings last week, raising their dividend and announcing a $500 million stock buyback. Lately they have had plenty of good news to share. Late last year Disney Princess ditched Mattel for HAS. Starting in 2016 Disney Princesses will be hanging out with the team at HAS ending a nearly 20 year partnership with Mattel. HAS has traditionally been strong in boys but with Frozen and Disney princess HAS will have a massive legup against its rival Barbie and Mattel.

Playing with Disney
Disney Princess is a 2016 story but this year the boys will be kept busy with Disney movie releases. In addition to Disney princess HAS has the rights for Marvel and Star Wars. It's a big year for boys toys as Avengers 2 comes out in May, Ant Man, Fantastic Four and the big one Star Wars comes out December 18. The last Star Wars film in 2005 helped sell $494 million of HAS toys. HAS are looking to up their game working on light sabers that kids can customize. It's like lego for light sabers (see below).


Monopoly is a monopoly
HAS revenues are split between licensed brands from the likes of Disney and Sesame Street and their fully owned brands. HAS owned brands have seen a renaissance by combining media and play (see below). The main driver has been movies and TV with Transformers benefiting the most. HAS has made sure that their brands are well represented on TV commenting that kids are consuming 12 hours of media within 8 hours. Kids are multi-tasking just like the rest of us doing two things at once, playing and listening to music etc at the same time.

Source: Hasbro investor day 

Entertainment and story telling has been a driver of HAS success. According to NPD entertainment based toys grew at a 7% compound annual growth rate while non-entertainment toys were flat from 2012-2014. Great stories and characters are attracting kids to their toys.

The most interesting thing about HAS is that Disney has given them their vote of confidence. HAS already has the biggest boy brands in Marvel and Star Wars, starting 2016 they will also have Frozen and Disney Princess. HAS toys will greatly benefit from Disney's film schedule. An investment in HAS is a bet on Disney's story telling success.


Disclosure: Decisive has no position in Hasbro (HAS) stock but is long Disney (DIS).

The material in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. The material has been prepared without regard to any client's or other person's investment objectives. Before making an investment decision you should consider the assistance of a financial adviser and whether any investment or service is appropriate in light of your particular investment needs.