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JAKKS Pacific (JAKK) Unveils Partnership With Epic Story Media

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JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (JAKK - Free Report) recently announced a collaboration with Epic Story Media to unveil an extensive content and licensing initiative centered around the new intellectual property, Wild Manes. Developed and produced by Epic Story Media, the animated series will explore a world filled with horses, food, friendship, fashion and entertainment.

Following the Summer 2024 scheduled release, forty fun-filled five minute episodes will run on YouTube Kids and other OTT platforms. The company will be rolling out a Wild Manes-based toy line in the fall of 2024, comprising horses, characters, carts, accessories and playsets. The toys possessing unique personalities are inspired by scenes from the animated shorts, including Bailey's surf shack and Cherie's Mane Macarons cart.

JAKK is teaming up with Epic's new game studio, Freeground, to develop an immersive Roblox game based on Wild Manes. Expected to launch in summer 2024, players can interact with the Mane Girls in the town of Wild, embark on quests and explore adventures, fostering friendships and unlocking creative accessories and unique mane colors.

Greta Salmon, senior director of marketing at Girls Toys at JAKKS Pacific, expressed enthusiasm regarding the partnership with Epic Story Media. The company is optimistic about the initiative. It intends to develop a franchise ecosystem with engaging content, consumer products and children’s toys.

Focus on Licensing Partnerships

Since the beginning of 2017, the company entered into multiple licensing agreements across varied product lines, which hit stores throughout the year. The company’s licensing partners are responsible for some of the most popular intellectual properties in the world, including The Walt Disney Company, Marvel, Pixar, DC Comics, Warner Bros., NBC Universal and many others. The company acquired Hasbro rights for North America and the United States as well as LEGO and Minecraft. The company’s evergreen licensed IP portfolio features popular franchises such as Disney Princesses, Lilo & Stitch, Nintendo, Sonic, Pokémon, Halo and Minecraft. The company emphasizes securing additional inventions and product concepts through its existing network of inventors and product developers to drive growth.

Price Performance

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Coming to price performance, JAKKS Pacific’s shares have gained 17.9% in the past year compared with the industry's 11.7% growth. The company is benefiting from the FOB business model, strategic acquisitions, a solid international footprint, a focus on innovation and collaborations with popular brands and movie franchisees. The emphasis on the expansion of retail reach bodes well.

The company holds the rights to several new films slated for release in 2024, including Sony’s Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me and Embassy Universal’s Wicked and Kung Fu Panda 4. It prioritizes the expansion of its rights portfolio, particularly in areas where they possess U.S. rights, as capabilities beyond the U.S. market continue to develop. Earnings estimates for 2024 have moved up in the past 30 days, depicting analysts’ optimism over the stock’s growth potential.

Zacks Rank & Other Top Picks

JAKKS Pacific currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Some other top-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector include:

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL - Free Report) currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). RCL has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 26.4%, on average. Shares of RCL have surged 121.7% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RCL’s 2024 sales and earnings per share (EPS) indicates a rise of 14.7% and 47.9%, respectively, from the year-ago levels. Group Limited (TCOM - Free Report) currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. TCOM has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 53.1%, on average. Shares of TCOM have gained 29.2% in the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for TCOM’s 2024 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 18.2% and 8%, respectively, from the year-ago levels.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Free Report) carries a Zacks Rank #2 at present. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 17.8%, on average. Shares of H have rallied 44.2% in the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for H’s 2024 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 3.5% and 27%, respectively, from the year-ago levels.

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