So was it fairly soon after "CSI" when the publishing division took over from creative services as the dominate focus of the company?
Looking back on it, it feels like it all happened quickly, but honestly it happened over many years. We still do creative service work today at IDW -- it's the quiet part of our business. Typically our clients, we're doing stuff for them that they don't necessarily want the world to know. Although now that we've become "IDW," and that's a brand, sometimes we have creative service clients who want to work with us specifically we are IDW, whereas 15 years ago, we were just four guys that were helping them get work done.
As far as how that transition happened, it was a pretty slow business. What helped us was bringing on Chris Ryall [in 2004] who's still our editor-in-chief and chief creative officer. He really brought his vision to the publishing. Chris is one of the smartest people I've ever met; he just knows how to get stuff done. When he came on board, he was really pushing me to build the business, and was really the driving force behind us going after "Transformers" as a license. If you look at that transition from creative service to becoming a publishing company, and then a bigger publishing company, that key hire in the early days was certainly Chris Ryall.
Speaking of " Transformers," licensed projects have certainly become a big part of IDW's identity, but from what you were saying, at the time, the first "CSI" comic was something of a risk -- that seems to have definitely paid off.
Certainly, nobody else was looking at "CSI" as a comic book back in those days -- it just wasn't something that anybody was considering. I think what our approach to it was to try and bring great talent to it. Max Allan Collins wrote those comics for us; I felt like he was just the perfect guy to write those comics, and he was. Gabe Rodriguez -- it wasn't hard to identify early on that Gabe was going to become a superstar. And Ash did us a favor by doing the flashback sequences.
I think that's really been the way that we approach our licensed books, even today -- we come to them with the intention of making great comics. If you look at our books today, our "[Teenage Mutant Ninja] Turtles" books are regularly on best-of lists. The "My Little Pony" books are loved. "Judge Dredd" -- these are books that we're bringing top-notch creative talent to. Maybe before, if you look back to the way licensed comics were perceived, they were thought as not necessarily being able to be great comics, and that was always our goal -- to try and make great comics out of them.
Looking at the past 15 years, what do you see as some of the biggest triumphs for IDW? Maybe some things that took you by surprise?
Honestly, even going back to "30 Days of Night," having that book be the No. 1 graphic novel was a huge surprise for us. But the early days of "Transformers" -- those books just found an audience really quickly, and really gave us the freedom to start to grow the business, because we were starting to generate real revenue from those. That was certainly a big step forward for us. Doing "Angel" with Joss Whedon and Brian Lynch, those comics were a big step forward for us. It was all driven by the creative -- what Joss Whedon and [late artist Franco Urru] were doing with those comics, they were just good comics, whether you liked "Angel" or you don't even know "Angel." So that was a big step forward for us. We did "Metal Gear Solid" with Ash Wood -- even today, that book still sells like crazy for us. If you look at the art that Ash did; it's a video game adaptation, which would seem on its face to be something that would not be worth your time. But what Ash brought to that is just extraordinary. That art's unbelievable. Every page could be hung in a gallery.
Hasbro Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2013 Financial Results and Declares an Increase in Quarterly Dividend to $0.43 per Share
- 2013 full-year net revenues of $4.08 billion were flat with 2012 revenues of $4.09 billion;
- 2013 International segment revenues increased 5% and grew across all major regions; 2013 Entertainment and Licensing segment revenues also increased 5%;
- Franchise Brand revenues grew 15% in 2013 versus 2012;
- Full-year Girls product category revenues grew 26% and reached $1 billion for the first time in the Company's history;
- Games revenues increased 10%; Preschool product category revenues were up 1%;
- 2013 full-year net earnings were $372.4 million, or $2.83 per diluted share, excluding aggregate pre-tax charges of $145.4 million from restructuring and related pension costs, product-related expense and the settlement of an adverse arbitration award, partially offset by a $23.6 million favorable tax adjustment;
- 2012 full-year net earnings were $370.8 million, or $2.81 per diluted share, excluding restructuring charges;
- As reported, 2013 net earnings were $286.2 million, or $2.17 per diluted share, compared to $336.0 million, or $2.55 per diluted share in 2012;
- Generated $401.1 million in operating cash flow during 2013;
- Company Board of Directors raises quarterly dividend 8% or $0.03 per share to $0.43 per share.
PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) today reported financial results for the full-year and fourth quarter 2013. Net revenues for the full-year 2013 were $4.08 billion and flat with full-year 2012 revenues of $4.09 billion. Full-year 2013 net revenues include a favorable $3.7 million impact of foreign exchange.
Net earnings for the full-year 2013 were $286.2 million, or $2.17 per diluted share, versus $336.0 million, or $2.55 per diluted share, in 2012. 2013 net earnings include pre-tax charges of $36.7 million associated with restructuring, $7.0 million of related pension costs, $61.1 million associated with the settlement of a previously disclosed adverse arbitration award, $40.6 million of charges related to certain non-strategic brands as well as a $23.6 million favorable tax adjustment. Excluding these items, 2013 net earnings were $372.4 million, or $2.83 per diluted share.
Net earnings for the full-year 2012 were $336.0 million, or $2.55 per diluted share. Excluding pre-tax restructuring charges of $47.2 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, 2012 net earnings were $370.8 million, or $2.81 per diluted share.
For the fourth quarter 2013, the Company reported net revenues of $1.28 billion which were flat with $1.28 billion in 2012. Foreign exchange had a $2.3 million positive impact on revenues for the fourth quarter 2013.
The Company reported net earnings for the fourth quarter 2013 of $129.8 million, or $0.98 per diluted share, including pre-tax charges of $48.8 million associated with restructuring and related pension costs and product-related charges, and a benefit of $15.4 million related to the settlement of an adverse arbitration award for less than the previously recorded charge. 2012 fourth quarter reported net earnings were $130.3 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, including $36.0 million pre-tax, or $0.21 per share, in restructuring charges. Excluding charges in both periods and the benefit in 2013, 2013 fourth quarter net earnings were $148.8 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, compared to $157.4 million, or $1.20 per diluted share, in 2012.
"Our heightened focus on Hasbro's Franchise Brands and emerging markets delivered positive momentum for us in 2013," said Brian Goldner, Hasbro's President and Chief Executive Officer. "In 2013, our Franchise Brands grew 15% with six of the seven brands growing, the Girls category increased 26% to reach a record $1 billion in revenues, our Games category posted 10% growth and our emerging markets increased 25% year-over-year. Cost savings efforts are lowering our underlying cost base and the increase in the quarterly dividend reflects confidence in our ability to profitably grow Hasbro over the long-term. We are entering 2014 with very good momentum in our brands globally, innovative new products and a multi-year pipeline of extremely strong film and television entertainment to leverage."
"As our Franchise Brands have grown through our focused efforts, we have also incurred short-term costs to exit certain non-strategic brands," said Deborah Thomas, Hasbro's Chief Financial Officer. "This puts us in a stronger financial position for the long-term. Our cash generation remains strong and in 2013 we generated $401 million in operating cash flow. We remain committed to investing in the long-term profitable growth of our business and returning excess cash to our shareholders through both our dividend and our share repurchase programs."
Note: Full-year 2013 restructuring and related pension charges, product-related and arbitration award settlement charges are primarily in Corporate and Eliminations. For details see attached table: Supplemental Financial Data, Restructuring, Pension Curtailment and Settlement, Product-Related and Arbitration Award Settlement Charges.
U.S. and Canada segment net revenues were $2.01 billion compared to $2.12 billion in 2012. The segment's results reflect growth in the Girls and Games categories, which was more than offset by declines in the Boys and Preschool categories. The U.S. and Canada segment reported operating profit of $313.7 million, or 15.6% of revenues, compared to $319.1 million, or 15.1% of revenues, in 2012.
International segment net revenues grew 5% to $1.87 billion compared to $1.78 billion in 2012. 2013 revenues include a positive $7.0 million impact from foreign exchange. Revenue in the International segment reflects growth across all regions with Europe increasing 3%, Latin America up 12% and Asia Pacific growing 4%. Emerging markets grew 25% in 2013 versus 2012. Additionally, the Girls, Games and Preschool category revenues increased, more than offsetting the decline in the Boys category. The International segment reported a 9% increase in operating profit to $235.5 million, or 12.6% of revenues, compared to $215.5 million, or 12.1%, in 2012.
Entertainment and Licensing segment net revenues increased 5% to $191.0 million compared to $181.4 million in 2012. The segment benefitted from growth in digital gaming, including the addition of Backflip Studios, as well as growth in lifestyle licensing. These gains were partially offset by lower entertainment revenues in 2013. The Entertainment and Licensing segment reported $45.5 million in operating profit compared to $53.2 million in 2012.
For the full-year 2013, net revenues in the Boys category decreased 22% to $1.24 billion. 2013 revenues grew for Franchise Brands TRANSFORMERS and NERF; however, these gains were more than offset by declines in BEYBLADE and MARVEL products which had difficult comparisons versus 2012.
The Games category grew for the second consecutive year and fifth consecutive quarter. Franchise Brands MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY posted revenue gains in 2013 versus 2012. Additionally, excluding the growth from the two Games Franchise Brands, the remainder of the Games category grew in 2013 led by Games Mega Brands and new gaming initiatives.
The Girls category posted its sixth straight quarter of growth and reported $1.0 billion in revenues for the year, a record level for Hasbro's Girls business. The continued growth in FURBY and Franchise Brand MY LITTLE PONY was further supported by highly successful new initiatives including MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS and the launch of NERF REBELLE.
The Preschool category grew revenues 1% in 2013 behind strong performances in Franchise Brand PLAY-DOH, growth in SESAME STREET driven by BIG HUGS ELMO and continued growth in TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS products.
Cost Savings Initiative & Other Charges
As previously announced, the Company is undertaking a cost savings initiative designed to better align resources and costs while targeting $100 million in annual savings by 2015. Gross savings for 2013 totaled $50 million, resulting in net savings of $13 million for the full-year, prior to pension charges.
During 2013, the Company incurred $43.7 million in pre-tax restructuring and related pension charges, or $0.23 per diluted share, associated with this initiative. In line with previous estimates, pre-tax restructuring charges in the year were $36.7 million and related pension charges were $7.0 million.
Additionally, the Company incurred pre-tax charges of $40.6 million associated with exiting certain non-strategic brands and reduced expectations from declining initiatives which the Company is no longer focusing on. The Company also incurred pre-tax charges of $61.1 million associated with the settlement of a previously announced adverse arbitration award.
Dividend and Share Repurchase
Hasbro's Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.43 per common share. This represents an increase of $0.03 per share, or 8%, from the previous quarterly dividend of $0.40 per common share. The dividend will be payable on May 15, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 1, 2014.
The Company paid $156.1 million in cash dividends to shareholders during 2013. The company paid dividends of $46.6 million in December 2012 associated with a dividend payment which typically would have been paid in February 2013.
Additionally, Hasbro repurchased a total of 2.3 million shares of common stock during 2013 at a total cost of $102.5 million and an average price of $45.17 per share. At year-end, $524.8 million remained available in the current share repurchase authorizations.
Conference Call Webcast
Hasbro will webcast its fourth quarter and full-year 2013 earnings conference call at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time today. To listen to the live webcast and access the accompanying presentation slides, please go to http://investor.hasbro.com. The replay of the call will be available on Hasbro's web site approximately 2 hours following completion of the call.
About Hasbro, Inc.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company dedicated to fulfilling the fundamental need for play for children and families through the creative expression of the Company's world class brand portfolio, including TRANSFORMERS, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, NERF and LITTLEST PET SHOP. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with innovative play and entertainment experiences, in a variety of forms and formats, anytime and anywhere. The Company's Hasbro Studios develops and produces television programming for more than 180 markets around the world, and for the U.S. on Hub Network, part of a multi-platform joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK). Through the Company's deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Learn more at http://www.hasbro.com.
© 2014 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Certain statements in this release contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include expectations concerning the Company's potential performance in the future, including with respect to its planned cost savings initiative and profitability, and the Company's ability to achieve its other financial and business goals and may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases. The Company's actual actions or results may differ materially from those expected or anticipated in the forward-looking statements due to both known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Specific factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to: (i) the Company's ability to design, develop, produce, manufacture, source and ship products on a timely and cost-effective basis, as well as interest in and purchase of those products by retail customers and consumers in quantities and at prices that will be sufficient to profitably recover the Company's costs; (ii) downturns in economic conditions affecting the Company's markets which can negatively impact the Company's retail customers and consumers, and which can result in lower employment levels, lower consumer disposable income and spending, including lower spending on purchases of the Company's products; (iii) other factors which can lower discretionary consumer spending, such as higher costs for fuel and food, drops in the value of homes or other consumer assets, and high levels of consumer debt; (iv) potential difficulties or delays the Company may experience in implementing cost savings and efficiency enhancing initiatives; (v) other economic and public health conditions or regulatory changes in the markets in which the Company and its customers and suppliers operate which could create delays or increase the Company's costs, such as higher commodity prices, labor costs or transportation costs, or outbreaks of disease; (vi) currency fluctuations, including movements in foreign exchange rates, which can lower the Company's net revenues and earnings, and significantly impact the Company's costs; (vii) the concentration of the Company's customers, potentially increasing the negative impact to the Company of difficulties experienced by any of the Company's customers or changes in their purchasing or selling patterns; (viii) consumer interest in and acceptance of Hub Network, and programming created by Hasbro Studios, and other factors impacting the financial performance of the network and Hasbro Studios; (ix) the inventory policies of the Company's retail customers, including retailers' potential decisions to lower their inventories, even if it results in lost sales, as well as the concentration of the Company's revenues in the second half and fourth quarter of the year, which coupled with reliance by retailers on quick response inventory management techniques increases the risk of underproduction of popular items, overproduction of less popular items and failure to achieve compressed shipping schedules; (x) delays, increased costs or difficulties associated with any of our or our partners' planned digital applications or media initiatives; (xi) work disruptions, which may impact the Company's ability to manufacture or deliver product in a timely and cost-effective manner; (xii) the bankruptcy or other lack of success of one of the Company's significant retailers which could negatively impact the Company's revenues or bad debt exposure; (xiii) the impact of competition on revenues, margins and other aspects of the Company's business, including the ability to offer Company products which consumers choose to buy instead of competitive products, the ability to secure, maintain and renew popular licenses and the ability to attract and retain talented employees; (xiv) concentration of manufacturing for many of the Company's products in the People's Republic of China and the associated impact to the Company of social, economic or public health conditions and other factors affecting China, the movement of products into and out of China, the cost of producing products in China and exporting them to other countries; (xv) the risk of product recalls or product liability suits and costs associated with product safety regulations; (xvi) the impact of other market conditions, third party actions or approvals and competition which could reduce demand for the Company's products or delay or increase the cost of implementation of the Company's programs or alter the Company's actions and reduce actual results; (xvii) the impact of litigation or arbitration decisions or settlement actions; and (xviii) other risks and uncertainties as may be detailed from time to time in the Company's public announcements and Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filings. The Company undertakes no obligation to make any revisions to the forward-looking statements contained in this release or to update them to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release.
This press release includes a non-GAAP financial measure as defined under SEC rules, specifically EBITDA. EBITDA represents net earnings attributable to Hasbro, Inc. excluding net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests, interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization. As required by SEC rules, we have provided reconciliation on the attached schedule of this measure to the most directly comparable GAAP measure. Management believes that EBITDA is one of the appropriate measures for evaluating the operating performance of the Company because it reflects the resources available for strategic opportunities including, among others, to invest in the business, strengthen the balance sheet, and make strategic acquisitions. However, this measure should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for, or superior to, net earnings or other measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP as more fully discussed in the Company's financial statements and filings with the SEC. As used herein, "GAAP" refers to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
This press release also includes the Company's 2013 costs and expenses, operating profit, net earnings and diluted earnings per share excluding the impact of restructuring and related pension charges, product-related charges from brands which the Company exited or have reduced expectations, and charges related to the settlement of an adverse arbitration award. 2013 net earnings and diluted earnings per share also exclude a benefit from a tax exam settlement. This press release also includes the Company's 2012 costs and expenses, operating profit, net earnings and diluted earnings per share excluding the impact of restructuring charges. Management believes that presenting this data excluding these charges and tax benefit assists investors' understanding of the underlying performance of the results of operations.
Next Saturday, we're having a party at Toy Tokyo in NYC to kick off all the new and great Transformers releases that are coming from TLS this year, and it's during Toy Fair. We're having a big party featuring 30 of today's best customizers and artists taking their hand at customizing the 8" Optimus Prime DIY figure from The Loyal Subjects. Each Custom piece also is accompanied by an original piece of art (painting, illustration, sculpture, etc). All things Transformers, celebrating the 30 Year Anniversary and the big year that is 2014 for Transformers.
We're also releasing an exclusive Transformers Hoodie (Zip Up Shockwave Hoodie) and Tee (Slag). Only 24 pieces avail on site. We're also debuting the 3" Ultra Magnus, blister carded - an edition of 500. Only 48 pieces available on site, along with the Cybertron 2 pack set and the Rainmakers Set (again only 48 of each set available at the show).
Some serious Hasbro heavy hitters are included in the show and definitely the super stars that work on Transformers - most notably John Warden, Joshua Lamb and Mark Maher.
This is going to be a great night so everyone should come out and have an amazing time. Beverages (including the ones we love) and snack will be on hand as well as a few surprises.
Let's do this!
Hello Transformers Fans!
You just saw the “Transformers: Age of Extinction” Big Game trailer, now own the first figure available from the new movie inspired action figure line from Hasbro exclusively through Amazon.com's Transformers Headquarters shop---the Transformers First Edition Optimus Prime!
HASBRO UNVEILS TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION FIRST EDITION OPTIMUS PRIME FIGURE
The First Figure Based On Upcoming Movie Available on Amazon Immediately Following Big Game Trailer
PAWTUCKET, R.I. – February 2, 2014 – In celebration of the TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION Big Game trailer, Hasbro and Amazon have teamed up to offer the first official merchandise inspired by the movie. The “TRANSFORMERS Headquarters Shop” is now live on Amazon.com in the U.S. featuring the first action figure available for purchase from Hasbro’s new TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION action figure line.
Fans eager to own the first official merchandise inspired by TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION can now order the TRANSFORMERS FIRST EDITION OPTIMUS PRIME action figure exclusively on Amazon.com before the broader toy line becomes available in May. The TRANSFORMERS FIRST EDITION OPTIMUS PRIME figure converts from robot to vehicle, features all new deco including metallic embellishes, rubber tires and is styled in the character’s new look as he will appear in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION. Additional features and accessories include an impressive new sword and shield. The TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION FIRST EDITION OPTIMUS PRIME figure is also the #14 item in the numbered line of “Thrilling 30” action figures celebrating the 30th anniversary of the TRANSFORMERS brand in 2014. Fans can visit http://www.amazon.com/transformershq?tag=seibertron07-20 now to view and purchase the figure while supplies last.
To keep up with the latest TRANSFORMERS brand news, fans can also visit the TRANSFORMER brand Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/TRANSFORMERS.
The epic battle between the valiant Autobots and treacherous Decepticons rages on in the third and final season of Transformers Animated! Join Optimus Prime and his heroic team as they protect the mighty AllSpark from Megatron and his evil band of Decepticons, while also managing to protect the rest of their new home planet — Earth — from its own dastardly fiends! Does this former maintenance team have it what it takes?
The long-awaited third season of Transformers Animated is finally available on DVD!
Discs: 2 Price: $13.97
Video region: Region 1
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Trapped on Earth, far from home and living in disguise, the brave Autobots must protect the ancient, all-powerful AllSpark from getting into the hands of the malevolent Decepticons. As if their task weren’t difficult enough, the team — led by the honor-bound Optimus Prime and including Bulkhead, Prowl, Ratchet and Bumblebee — must also protect Earth from its own nefarious super villains! Can this mere maintenance team live up to the highest standard of what it truly means to be Autobots?
Finally, you can own the complete Transformers Animated series, including the never-before-released third season, right here in one exciting collection!
Discs: 6 Price: $29.99
Video region: Region 1
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
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