Hasbro Going Digital To Stay Competitive, Boost Sales


Hasbro ( HAS ) plans to develop mobile versions of classic board games like Monopoly to capitalize on strong growth in digital gaming.

On Tuesday, the toy maker signed a deal with digital game developerElectronic Arts ( EA ) to create versions of Monopoly, Scrabble, Yahtzee and other popular games for smartphones and other handheld devices. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. EA was featured in a recent Spotlight column .

Hasbro has been cutting costs and teaming up with electronic gaming outfits to stay on top of the latest trends. Last year, it introduced a new line of digital games with social game developer Zynga ( ZNGA ).

"Deals like these provide Hasbro an opportunity to participate in (the) faster-growing digital gaming/casual entertainment category, a market that is expected to grow significantly in the years ahead," Zack's Equity Research said Wednesday.

It's also working on efforts to save $100 million a year by 2015.

Profit for the first quarter rose 25%, the best in 12 quarters and above views. Q2 earnings are due before the market opens July 22, with profit expected to rise 6% to 35 cents a share.

Despite choppy quarterly profits, annual earnings have risen steadily over the past eight years, marred only by a slight dip during the deep recession of 2008.

Hasbro's three-year earnings stability factor is 3 on a scale of 0 to 99, with 0 being most stable. Profit this year is expected to rise 5% to $2.95 per share, followed by a 9% increase in 2014.

Meanwhile, the stock has risen 28% this year and 36% since the same time last year, easily outpacing the S&P 500. The company also pays a quarterly dividend of 40 cents a share, good for a hefty annual yield of 3.5%, well above the S&P 500 average of 2.5%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas

Referenced Stocks: EA , HAS , ZNGA

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