For toymaker Hasbro, trade wars are no fun

Shares of Hasbro plunged Tuesday after the company said the trade war is hammering its supply chain and creating confusion among customers for its toys.

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said they’ve seen multiple dates for the rollout of “List 4” tariffs, which include toys, models and puzzles. Those tariffs, which had been postponed in August over fears that it would affect the holiday shopping season, are now slated to roll out on Dec. 15.

But the shifting dates led to cancelled orders in the third quarter and the inability of Hasbro to meet demand as it shifted operations to accommodate companies that buy its toys and games.

“Since the administration began discussing tariffs, we have outlined the ripple effect they would have on our business,” Goldner said. “We’ve spoken about the changing order patterns in the U.S., whether or not tariffs are ultimately enacted. In the third quarter, the threat of and the implementation of tariffs in certain instances impacted our shipments and our ability to fully meet demand.”

Other tariffs, including a 25 per cent tariff on $200 billion US worth of goods, have already been enacted in September and hit game sales for Hasbro. Nerf sales are also being affected, Goldner said.

The company said that if the next round of tariffs go into effect in December, customers will feel it.

“We would take pricing to, again, protect our gross margin and those price increases would be passed along to consumers,” Goldner said.

Reducing the products Hasbro gets from China

Hasbro has already reduced the number of products it gets from China, which had hovered above 80 per cent as recently as 2012. Goldner said Hasbro is attempting to lower than number to less than 50 per cent by the end of next year.

The toymaker posted third-quarter net income of $212.9 million, or $1.67 per share. Even removing one-time costs, which brought per-share earnings to $1.84, the company fell 62 cents short of projections, according to a survey of industry analysts by Zacks Investment Research.

Its revenue of $1.58 billion is also below the $1.73 billion industry analysts had expected.

Shares of Hasbro Inc., based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, tumbled 15 per cent.