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Hasbro to cut jobs after 4Q sales trail forecast

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/ MICHAEL SPRINGER
AFTER A WEAKER THAN FORECAST fourth quarter, shares of Hasbro Inc. slipped and the company announced the intention to cut 10 percent of its global workforce.
Posted 1/25/13

CHICAGO - Hasbro Inc., the maker of Nerf, Playskool and Transformers toys, fell the most in nine months after saying preliminary fourth-quarter sales trailed its forecast because of weaker demand in the U.S.

The company’s shares slid 4 percent to $36.91 at 10:16 a.m. in New York and earlier dropped as low as $36.60 for the biggest intraday decline since April 23. Pawtucket-based Hasbro rose 13 percent last year, about matching the gain of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

“Consumer demand through much of the holiday season was less than anticipated in both the U.S. and certain international markets,” CEO Brian Goldner said today in a statement. “As a result, fourth quarter revenues did not meet our expectations.”

Hasbro said revenue for 2012 was about $4.09 billion, a 4.7 percent decline from 2011 and less than analysts’ average estimate of $4.21 billion. The results imply fourth-quarter revenue of about $1.28 billion. Analysts estimated $1.41 billion, on average.

Per-share profit for the year, excluding restructuring charges, was about $2.73 to $2.75. The figure includes a negative effect of about 10 cents a share because of foreign- currency exchange rate fluctuations. Analysts predicted $2.83, on average.

Hasbro said it plans to reduce its workforce by about 10 percent, consolidate facilities and improve some processes. Hasbro spokesman Wayne S. Charness said that the projected cuts will be worldwide, including Rhode Island, but declined to comment on the scope of the Rhode Island cuts.

The actions will result in about $20 million to $30 million in pretax charges in 2013, the company said.

Hasbro is scheduled to report full fourth-quarter results on Feb. 7.

Providence Business News staff contributed to this report.

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