U.S. holiday season toy sales fell year-over-year, analyst says
BMO Capital Markets analysts led by Gerrick Johnson think U.S. holiday toy sales fell year-over-year even if inventory levels don't reflect it. "Post-Christmas retail inventory levels were significantly lower than last year, and we saw very little post-Christmas promotions and clearance activity," BMO wrote in note. "We think this was a function of better inventory management as opposed to strong retail sales. In fact, we believe toy retail in the U.S. was down low-single digit for the season." Analysts think the "massive deceleration" in sales of games like Pie Face and Toilet Trouble was the biggest surprise in Hasbro Inc.'s (HAS) holiday performance. Mattel Inc. (MAT) didn't have a strong season, BMO said, but analysts think Barbie performed "fairly well." And BMO thinks JAKKS Pacific Inc. (JAKK) has the best chance to beat their fourth-quarter estimates. Hasbro shares are down 7.6% for the last three months, Mattel shares are up 1.7% for the period, and JAKKS shares are down 20.6%. The S&P 500 index is up 6.8% for the last three months.
-Tonya Garcia; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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