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Shares of Hasbro Inc. (HAS - Analyst Report) reached a new 52-week high of $40.13 on Monday, Feb 11, 2013, just after it announced a dividend hike along with its fourth quarter 2012 results, going past its previous 52-week high of $39.98 recorded last September.

The adjusted closing price of this toy company on Feb 11, 2013, was $39.69, representing a modest one-year return of about 12.5%. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months stands at approximately 1,778K.  The company has a market capitalization of $5.15 billion as of Feb 11.

Growth Drivers

An 11% increase in quarterly cash dividend to 40 cents, which will be payable on May 15, 2013 to shareholders of record as of May 1, 2013 is probably the major growth driver for the shares of Hasbro. Apart from dividend increase, regular share buybacks have also bolstered shareholder value.

Though the company is struggling to generate higher revenues for the last couple of quarters, we have a favorable view of the company’s persistent efforts to curtail costs and at least score on earnings amid a sluggish operating environment. As a point of reference, one of the major toy companies, Mattel Inc. (MAT - Analyst Report) missed on both the lines in its fourth quarter.

Hasbro is currently on a restructuring mode involving several brand building and cost saving initiatives. It has been continuously forming alliances with several gaming entities and bringing about innovations in playthings to improve its fundamentals. From the inventory point of view also, Hasbro remains well-positioned at the start of 2013.

Attractive Valuation    

Hasbro currently trades at a forward P/E of 13.71x, a 26.8% discount to the peer group. Again, its price-to-sales ratio of 1.27x is trading at a 3.8% discount to the peer group. The company’s return-on-equity is also quite higher than its peer group.

Hasbro currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We prefer to remain on the sidelines at the current level until we see any definite sign of materialization of aforesaid initiatives.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) companies from the consumer discretionary industry that warrant a look at present include Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO - Snapshot Report) and Nintendo Co. Ltd. (NTDOY).  
 

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