Hasbro Offers Big Hugs Elmo, Steady Dividend Payout


Hasbro ( HAS ) makes a variety of toys perfect for the holiday season, but its shares can also provide a gift that keeps giving -- in the form of steady dividends.

The Pawtucket, R.I.-based company, whose brands include G.I. Joe, My Little Pony and Nerf, in addition to games like Monopoly and Scrabble, last week declared a quarterly cash dividend of 40 cents a share. It will be paid out Feb. 18 to shareholders of record at the close on Feb. 4.

That's in line with the past three quarterly payouts. Hasbro's dividend history has been stable -- the payout has steadily increased each year since 2003. It's most recently been tracking at $1.60 a year for an annualized yield of about 3.1%, above the S&P 500's 2.45%. Its three- to five-year dividend growth rate is 22%, according to IBD data.

The toymaker's Big Hugs Elmo is expected to be a big seller this holiday season, and its new Nerf Rebelle and My Little Pony Equestria Girls lines have been well received.

And Hasbro, aiming to keep up with the times, earlier this year struck a deal withElectronic Arts ( EA ) to create electronic versions of popular board games for smartphones and other handheld devices. It also bought Backflip Studios, a maker of mobile games such as "Paper Toss 2.0" and "DragonVale."

Hasbro, which has grown earnings the past four years, has a three-year Earnings Stability Factor of 3 on a scale of 0 to 99. The lower the number, the steadier profit growth.

The stock has performed well too, rising 45% this year to outpace even the Nasdaq's 34% gain. It broke out from a long, saucer base early this year and rallied 20% before pausing to form another saucer base.

Shares cleared the 49.85 entry point from a high handle and advanced 9% before pulling back during the past three weeks.

They're now testing support at their 50-day moving average line, off which they rebounded Wednesday.

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

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