Hasbro swings past estimates as Spider-Man movie fuels toy demand

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Feb 7 (Reuters) - Hasbro Inc (HAS.O) trounced analysts' estimates for quarterly revenue and profit on Monday, bolstered by demand for toys based on the latest Spider-Man movie and a rebound in its television production business.

Still, shares reversed from premarket to trade down 2% as the company warned it expects surging freight and raw material costs to pinch profit margins for most of this year, despite another round of price increases planned for the second quarter.

The December release of "Spider-Man: No Way Home", which has grossed more than $1.1 billion worldwide, came after Hasbro had struggled with a dearth of major Marvel blockbusters.

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Toys based on the web slinger powered a 13% increase in the Partner Brands segment, interim Chief Executive Officer Richard Stoddart told analysts on a call.

"Spider-Man helped rebound from some of those earlier Marvel movies like 'Eternals' which underperformed," said James Zahn, deputy editor at trade magazine "The Toy Book".

The Hasbro, Inc. logo is seen on a toy for sale in a store in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 16, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

"Toys for 'Shang-Chi' and 'Black Widow' also did not come out in sync with the theatrical releases, but now that's finally catching up with Spider-Man," he added.

Hasbro's fourth-quarter net revenue rose 17% to $2.01 billion, beating analysts' estimates of $1.87 billion. The jump came despite the company falling short on its target for holiday season inventory due to global supply-chain disruptions.

To get around the bottlenecks set off by the pandemic, the company had expanded its shipping operations and advanced sourcing of products.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.21 per share, topping estimates of 88 cents, according to Refinitiv IBES estimates, on price increases that helped offset a surge in costs.

Hasbro, which last month named the head of its digital gaming division, Chris Cocks, as its new boss, said it expects 2022 revenue to rise at a low single-digit rate.

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Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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