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Mattel, Inc. (MAT), Hasbro, Inc. (HAS): Toys Are Not for Kids

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The toy industry today is navigating muddy waters. A slow economic recovery has chipped away at company revenues and placed a few toy companies under great financial pressure. Let us take a look at the industry leader, Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT), a close competitor, Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), and a struggling signature brand, JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAKK).

Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT)

The big boy

A worldwide leader in the toy design and production industry, Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) distributes its products through retailers and sells directly to customers. Based in El Segundo, California, the firm is generating most of its revenue from action figures, while it relies on product licenses to avoid having to disburse money on TV advertisements.

In the short run, Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) has to deal with a tough economic environment, poor performance from Fisher-Price, and
age compression. Also, the firm will have to complete the integration of recent acquisitions, and introduce new products that are sitting in the pipeline. For the long haul, the company is expected to continue cost reduction policies, while increasing its international presence and rewarding shareholders.

Financially, Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) is very strong. Revenues, net income, and cash flow have all been on the rise over the last five years. Debt has also risen in the same period–however, it remains below cash flow levels, and the operating margin today stands at 16.3, well above the industry average.

Trading at 20.3 times its earnings, pulling a 23% discount to the industry average, with a dividend yield of 2.85%, and a price tag close to its 52-week high, the stock is undervalued and attractive. It is recommended to buy Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) since the company has held its financial strength against economic woes, is a market leader for boys and girls, and holds a portfolio that can effectively respond to changes in market preferences.

Playing for profits

One of the world’s largest toy and board game manufacturers, Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) is headquartered in Rhode Island. However, production takes place mainly in Asia. The company made the tabloids due to the acquisition of Backflip Studios last June, which represented its entrance into the mobile gaming business. But can mobile gaming reward shareholders? Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) must battle against age compression, modern entertainment alternatives, higher competition from private brands, and adverse economic environment. Further down the road, the company will continue to use its strong brand recognition to increase market share. Also, cost cut policies, TV marketing campaign, development of joint ventures, and growing international exposure are objectives for the long-term.

The balance sheet for Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) is spotless. Net income remained stable during the last 5 years, while revenue and cash flow have seen progressive increments. On the other hand, debt has risen considerably without perturbing the business model. Last, the company’s operating margin stands at 13.50%.

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