Hasbro Earnings Call Insights: Game Licensing and International Business

Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Game Licensing

Sean McGowan – Needham & Company.: I have a couple of quick questions one of which is very quick. Why is some back lifting accounted for – payment of licensing where like all the other games would be?

Brian D. Goldner – President and CEO: It’s a part of our digital gaming business and so it’ll align there.

Sean McGowan – Needham & Company.: Just to match it up with the others. I know you are not going to give us the rate, but can you comment on these extensions for STAR WARS and MARVEL whether the royalty rates underlying these extensions are comparable to what’s already in place?

Brian D. Goldner – President and CEO: Yes. The royalty rates are comparable to what’s already in place and the deal as an amendment was structured very similarly the way we had done our deal more recently on the MARVEL business. This expands our rights and begins to align our advances and guarantees with additional entertainment that’s now contemplated by the Walt Disney Company for both these STAR WARS and MARVEL brands.

Sean McGowan – Needham & Company.: Any comment, Brian, on point-of-sale movement for Hasbro brands?

Brian D. Goldner – President and CEO: Year-to-date we feel good about where we are, particularly growth in our Games and Girls business, Preschools just below flat. The Boys business is really where the decline is in (NYSE:PLS), that’s true both domestically and internationally. Again as we indicate, we are really cycling through some very big numbers in comparatives versus a year ago. So as we go forward with the raft of entertainment that we have and our partners have in the Boys arena plus the growth in the other three product categories as well as five of our seven franchise brands we feel very comfortable with the current position we have.

Sean McGowan – Needham & Company.: With regard to Boys, can you comment on the point-of-sale movement versus the sell-in year-to-date?

Brian D. Goldner – President and CEO: We look at Boys; they are pretty similar. In terms of sell-in versus POS very similar…

Sean McGowan – Needham & Company.: And then final question, you have given us help in recent quarters on the magnitude of the increase in MAGIC any help there at this time?

Brian D. Goldner – President and CEO: The great news about our GAMES business is certainly that MAGIC has continued to grow at double digits but the rest of our GAMES business, excluding MAGIC has also grown at double digit. In fact, if you recall those charge that we talked about back at our February Analyst Meeting, we’re seeing growth across a lot of those components, in fact, mostly all through the quarter and year-to-date all those different components are growing. So, again, I think the team is doing a great job of bringing innovation back to our business in the Games business, and that’s true in the U.S., where we have a more technologically savvy consumer, as well as internationally.

 

International Business

Stephanie Wissink – Piper Jaffray: A two really quick ones for ask. The first, Deb, if you could just talk about the International business, in particular, any signs of improvement during inspection, in either Asia or Europe as you look into the back half? Then secondly, just looking at the Boys business, I think, a follow-up to Sean’s question, how should we think about the comparisons over the next two quarters, and is there any of the 2014 product that will actually fall into this 2013 year as you prepare for some of those movie events?

Brian D. Goldner – President and CEO: Well, for the second half, we have a number of new Boys initiatives that hit across a number of our brands, whether it’s in NERF with the Mega Elite across the MARVEL business with the number of new additions in TRANSFORMERS, our brand new major segment call CONSTRUCT-BOTS and we’re seeing in Preschool Boys with TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS. So, we see both entertainment support and television in the fall, as well as a number of our innovative platforms launching. So, we feel again like, obviously, second quarter was our most considerable comparison versus 2012, but it will remain a more challenging year as we go forward in 2014. Obviously, we line-up strength-on-strength both Hasbro Boys brand, as well as our partner brands in ’14, ’15 and beyond. Again if you look at the regions, you see that really the POS is comparable to the POS I just cited with Boys really being the strongest negative comparison to year ago and we feel again good longer term about our Boys business given the rest of entertainment both television as well as film coming in the both near and long-term. We also feel good about the growth of our business in Girls and Games and Preschool. We’re also seeing great growth in the emerging markets, up double digits 24% in the emerging markets. And we are gaining share in markets like Brazil. If you look at our POS internationally where we do get we do get POS, we’re up in about half of the countries where we get POS in the second quarter. So, we get POS data outside the U.S. in six countries, we’re up in half of those.

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