Hasbro Stock Struggling To Find Footing Moving Into Q4 Earnings

Introduction:

The retail cohort reported a mixed bag during the most recent earnings season with Target (TGT), Khol’s (KSS), Gap (GPS), WalMart (WMT), Best Buy (BBY) and the Retail ETF (XRT) all experiencing downward pressure. This pressure has been exacerbated by the market wide sell-off in the broader indices. Hasbro (HAS) has struggled to find its footing moving into its historically biggest quarter. Hasbro is setting the post Toys R Us bankruptcy narrative and laying out a business roadmap for long term profitable growth across its brands. The headwinds attributable to the bankruptcy of Toy R Us appear to be subsiding. This sentiment has been further bolstered by positive commentary from its CEO that the company will absolve itself of this Toy R Us related bankruptcy headwind come 2019. As Hasbro realigns and effectively manages the Toy R Us liquidation, this challenging backdrop is beginning to resolve itself to Hasbro's benefit. There's many current and future growth catalysts for Hasbro in movie franchises such as Marvel, Star Wars and other Disney (DIS) properties (Hasbro is the exclusive toy maker), potential e-sports with Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, newly acquired Power Rangers franchise which will emulate Hasbro’s My Little Pony and Transformers’ Bumblebee within Hasbro Studios and its legacy games such as Monopoly and Nerf. Hasbro may benefit from a strong consumer, record low unemployment, a strong and growing dividend yield, clear skies post Toy R Us liquidation and putting forth initiatives within Hasbro Studios to further propel growth thus presenting a compelling long-term buy.

E-Commerce Channels Mitigating Toys R Us Bankruptcy  

Analysts are predicting e-commerce toy orders to balloon to 40% of overall sales this year, up from 28% last year. Since Toys R Us has gone bankrupt, this puts a void of ~14% of last year’s U.S. toy sales that needs to be bridged, translating into $2.5 billion in revenue. This void will likely be filled by Target, Walmart and Amazon (AMZN) which recently, for the first time it will offer free shipping to everyone through the day before Christmas with no minimum purchase required. Per Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink, 70% of toy sales occur during the holiday season. Target and Walmart have announced expanded free-shipping programs of their own to drive online sales. Wissink sees Hasbro’s stock hitting $120 within a year and notes that the overall set-up for 2019 looks better than 2018. As other retail chains close the gap with the Toys R Us vacancy, Hasbro will likely return to form and growth across its brands. Hasbro has one more quarter to report earnings in which the Toys R Us issues will be impacting its numbers. 2019 will be free of this headwind and all numbers will come full circle and be compared to post Toys R Us landscape.  

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Disclosure:  The author does not hold shares of Hasbro. The author has no business relationship with any companies mentioned in this article. He is not a professional financial advisor or ...

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