Sunday, April 21, 2024

Hasbro Doesn't Seem to be Big on Anniversaries.....

Hasbro Doesn't Seem to be Big on Anniversaries.....
One of my...quirks I guess, is that I like to have the TV on pretty much anytime I'm at home and in my living room, if I can at least pay it half-assed attention. Otherwise it's music for me ...anything but having to listen to the high-pitched tinnitus whine in my head.

Earlier this week I actually tuned in to Tenkar's Tavern on YouTube where Erik, Bad Mike, and Jim Kitchen talked ostensibly about Cynthia Williams resignation. Eventually they talk about D&D's 50th Anniversary celebration, or lack thereof.

That got me thinking......

....did you know that Hasbro just celebrated their 100th anniversary last year? I didn't know until recently. You'd  think a big company celebrating 100 years would put some emphasis on a major division celebrating 50 years, but I really wonder how much of a "major division" D&D (I know WotC) really is to Hasbro. A quick visit to the main Hasbro website doesn't even show D&D as one of their brands, much less a mention of the anniversary. They currently have two D&D board games, one being for the recent movie, and a few D&D toys scattered about.

So no love for WotC or D&D?
No D&D Here!

The main D&D page has the WotC and Habro logos/links at the bottom, but really no reciprocation. The closest I could find was a press release from February. I honestly expected more.

Now while I'd love to talk about what I think is a pitiful set of anniversary offerings, which maybe isn't pitiful if you're 5E fans, but if you're into playing BX or 1st....or even 2nd edition? Pitiful. Thing is Erik, Bad Mike, and Jim did enough talking on the topic that I don't think I can add too much.

Not too much, but maybe a little. See Hasbro had a down year in 2023.....remember this was their 100th anniversary....and they finished down 15% for the year. WotC, on the other hand was up 10%, but I'm not sure about that breakdown because WotC is lumped in with Hasbro's "Digital Gaming Segment".

"Digital Gaming Segment" kind of spooks me a bit because it just reinforces where I think they're trying to push D&D, but that is conjecture for another day.

What really stood out to me was Hasbro's expectations for WotC in 2024: "Wizards of the Coast Segment revenue down 3% to 5% decline largely driven by second half comp in licensed digital gaming; Operating margin 38% to 40%."

Now I haven't done a lot of corpo reading in years, but IIRC that doesn't mean that WotC is expected to be losing money, just not making as much. Now if maybe they would...I don't know....pull their head out of their ass quickly & forcefully (as in we could all hear a loud, audible POP), they could capture the nostalgia market with this large audience of BX/1st Ed players who mostly have disposable income AND have a decent sense of nostalgia!

So I'm reading this 4th Quarter and 2023 Year-End report looking for a specific something and then I finally see this gem......WotC is expected to have an operating margin of 38% to 40%?!! Now if it was 30% or maybe even 35% I wouldn't be surprised, but up to 40% seems like a lot, and that's after they take their cut for all the overhead, like Cynthia William's salary....well her replacement anyway. For year end 2023, WotC's margin is 28.4% which makes more sense (at least from my personal experiences).

Overall Hasbro lost more than $10.73 a share in 2023, which is not good but maybe those of you with a better understanding of corporate stocks & bonds can explain why a company loosing money is planning on giving away $97M worth of quarterly dividends.

Clearly it has something to do with D&D and WotC not making enough money....

Interesting reading:     Hasbro Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2023 Financial Results

                                    Dungeons & Dragons Celebrates 50th Anniversary in 2024 with More than 50 Million Fans

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