Hasbro soars on brand’s confidence it can survive Toys R Us bankruptcy

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Shares of Hasbro spiked more than 7 percent Wednesday after the company projected strong growth in 2018 and said it has contingency plans for Toys R Us’ bankruptcy filing.

Hasbro warned last October of weak holiday sales due to the Toys R Us filing, but the brand is confident it can overcome any headwinds by mid-2018 — especially in the wake of Toys R Us’ announcement that it will shutter roughly 180 stores. That’s about one-fifth of its U.S. store fleet.

“We estimate less than half the stores in their announced closures directly affect our initial plans, but we also expect Toys R Us to streamline inventory at remaining stores,” CEO Brian Goldner said during an earnings conference call Wednesday. “Much of this impact will be felt in the first two quarters of the year. We anticipate during 2018 that we will right-size our business with Toys R Us.”

Hasbro has relied heavily on Toys R Us for sales. In 2016, the retailer was tied with Target as the second-largest seller of Hasbro goods, accounting for 14 percent of Hasbro’s sales in the U.S. and Canada.

As Toys R Us begins to streamline the amount of inventory it can take, Goldner said Hasbro has “continued to grow our revenue outside of Toys R Us.”

The brand is expanding in international markets like Russia and China and is exploring new channels like drug and grocery stores.

“Toys R Us risk is contained and contingency plans are prepared if there is a full liquidation event,” Stephanie Wissink, an analyst at Jefferies, wrote in a research note Wednesday.

Jefferies currently holds a buy rating on the stock and a price target of $123.

While Hasbro did not offer guidance for 2018, the company said it feels “very good” about 2018’s prospects, particularly around its growth of franchise toys, items like Monopoly, My Little Pony and Nerf, and its games segment.

Goldner said the company would provide more insight on its forecast at the New York Toy Fair next week.

TUNE IN: Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner will appear on CNBC’s “Mad Money” tonight at 6 p.m. ET.



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