In order to expand its global branded play experiences, toy
Hasbro Inc. (
will launch a new line of gaming products in the U.S. this month
and later in 2012 in the U.K., Australia and Canada. The move is in
collaboration with the world's largest social game developer -
Zynga, Inc. (
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San Francisco-based Zynga presents an extensive line of games with
around 306 million monthly active users. It has created some of the
world's most popular social game brands such as FarmVille,
CityVille and Mafia Wars. The games have earned immense popularity
on the social media website
Facebook, Inc. (
Earlier this year, Hasbro had inked an agreement with Zynga to
develop and distribute product lines based on eight gaming brands
at Zynga. As part of the deal, Hasbro launched the new board games
bearing of Zynga's four brands - Words with Friends, Draw
Something, FarmVille, and CityVille. Hasbro's Monopoly game will
get a CityVille edition and FarmVille characters will be integrated
into a version of Hasbro's Hungry Hungry Hippos. The rest of the
branded gaming products from Zynga will come up by 2012 in the U.S.
Hasbro has been highly active on gaming deals this year. Another
deal it sealed was with Volumique - a France-based innovator and
provider of technologies. With the deal, Hasbro attained the rights
to deploy Volumique's proprietary technology in its new line of
Hasbro zAPPed Games, based on iconic brands such as BATTLESHIP and
MONOPOLY. This technology hit the market recently with the
introduction of BATTLESHIP zAPPed.
Hasbro cut another deal with CBS Consumer Products, a unit of the
CBS Corporation (
, to manufacture and globally market a variety of products based on
the STAR TREK property beginning in 2013. Hasbro's management
believes that these strategic partnerships will widen its reach in
the arena of social games and restructure its portfolio of gaming
We have noticed that the Games and Puzzles category performance has
lacked luster in 2011. However, we think the deals mentioned
earlier are a part of the multi-year plan Hasbro has chalked out to
turnaround this category. Hasbro now seeks to stabilize the Games
and Puzzles segment in 2012 and deliver growth in 2013 and beyond.
The company is expected to release its third-quarter 2012 results
on October 22, 2012. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third
quarter is currently pegged at $1.20 per share.
We currently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.
However, it carries a short-term Zacks #4 Rank (Sell).