By Dhanya Skariachan
(Reuters) - Hasbro Inc
The news on Monday boosted the second-largest U.S. toy company's shares by 2.7 percent to $48.50 in premarket trading.
Both Hasbro and larger rival Mattel Inc
Hasbro should benefit from Transformers and Spider-Man movies in 2014 and from Star Wars and Avengers in 2015, analysts said.
Mattel has "good prospects, but it doesn't have as clearly visible a catalyst for sustained revenue growth as Hasbro has," said Needham & Co analyst Sean McGowan.
Hasbro continues to operate in "a challenging economic environment in many developed economies," Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner said during a conference call. He added that the company's Big Hugs Elmo toy, which came out earlier this year, was "off to a strong start."
Like Mattel, Hasbro was able to use strength in sales outside of North America to offset weakness in the United States and Canada. Goldner credited a 22 percent rise in sales in emerging markets such as Latin America and the Asia Pacific for boosting its quarterly results.
Revenue rose 11 percent to $582.7 million at Hasbro's international unit, but fell 5 percent to $735.6 million in the United States and Canada.
Net earnings rose to $193.0 million, or $1.46 a share, from $164.9 million, or $1.24 a share, a year earlier.
Excluding a tax adjustment and restructuring and pension charges, the company earned $1.31 a share, above the analysts' average estimate of $1.29, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 2 percent to $1.37 billion, beating analysts' expectations of $1.34 billion. Strength in the girls and game businesses helped Hasbro offset weakness in the boys and preschool units.
Hasbro, which is in the middle of a restructuring program, cut its cost of sales by 3.1 percent in the quarter.
(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan in New York; Additional reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)