Hasbro CEO says toy sales are hot

Nothing like a nice competitive family game of Monopoly while being quarantined because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Apparently that is the new normal for many U.S. households, suggested Hasbro (HAS) Chairman and CEO Brian Goldner in an interview with Yahoo Finance. “What we are seeing is clearly people are all together, they’re spending time together and our games business is quite robust. Clearly, people know our games brands such as Monopoly, Game of Life and Operation,” Goldner said on The First Trade.

“Play-DOH products as kids are looking for creativity and parents are looking to educate their kids and develop milestones, clearly another area of growth for us,” continued Goldner,

A woman and child play at a display for Play-Doh toys made by American toymaker Hasbro. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Hasbro’s stock popped 9% on Tuesday following Goldner’s comments. The toymaker’s stock is still down 38% over the past month — lagging the S&P 500’s 32% plunge — on fears job loss stemming from the coronavirus may zap consumer spending this spring and possibly into the crucial holiday shopping season.

The million-dollar questions for investors in toymakers at the moment is twofold.

One, with movie studios delaying key theatrical releases (see Disney delay of Mulan) — which are always drivers of toy sales — will the stock work at all this year. Secondarily, concerns linger on the health of the toy supply chain in China following weeks of it being closed as the government dealt with the coronavirus. And finally, what mood will U.S. shoppers be in to buy toys as they catch up on past due bills because of being out of work.

At least on the supply chain front for Hasbro, things have started to come back to normal. So that should alleviate one concern on the minds of investors.

“China is by the end of this week back up and running. That means in the first quarter there have been a few gaps, but now we are at full capacity,” said Goldner. “April, maybe early May, we would make up those gaps and get fully all of our product availability back.”

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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