After Hasbro Inc. drew backlash for efforts to extract more money from its “Dungeons & Dragons” and “Magic: The Gathering” fantasy games, BofA analysts on Tuesday said rival toymaker Mattel Inc. has the upper hand this year, thanks in part to Disney princesses and an upcoming Barbie movie. The analysts made the call as both companies prepare to report quarterly earnings over this week and next week, and after Hasbro
last month said it would lay off 15% of its employees and reported disappointing preliminary fourth-quarter results on weak holiday-season demand. Mattel reports quarterly results on Wednesday. Hasbro’s results are set to be released on Feb. 16.
“Expectations for Mattel’s 4Q have reset lower following Hasbro’s preannouncement,” BofA analysts Jason Haas, Elizabeth Suzuki and Sarah Park said in a research note on Tuesday. “We prefer Mattel’s shares over Hasbro’s.” They said that Hasbro’s stock still wasn’t “de-risked” after the company announced the preliminary fourth-quarter results. Sales at Hasbro’s segment for digital gaming and Wizards of the Coast — the Hasbro subsidiary that oversees D&D and Magic — still jumped 22% to $339 million. But that segment, which made up a fifth of Hasbro’s sales in 2021, drew other concerns from the analysts, who said, “Hasbro continues to destroy customer goodwill by trying to over-monetize” those role-playing games. “We remain especially cautious on Hasbro’s Wizards segment g …