Hasbro (HAS) has made it fun for investors over the last year. The maker of board games such as Monopoly and Star Wars lightsabers has seen its stock rise 11% in the past year, outperforming the S&P 500’s 13% plunge. Underlying the gains have been solid performance on the top and bottom lines throughout most parts of Hasbro’s product portfolio. Excluding the impact of the strong U.S. dollar, net sales in 2015 increased 13% year over year. Adjusted for one-time items, earnings per share rose 11.4%. Sales were led by 20% and 17% gains in Hasbro’s boys and pre-school segments, respectively. Top-selling products included none other than Star Wars – which benefited from Disney’s (DIS) newest cinema blockbuster smashing box office receipt records globally – as well as interest in Monopoly, Nerf, Jurassic World, Marvel, Play-DOH and My Little Pony. In particular, Nerf’s sales rose 13% last year, reaching a new record for Hasbro. ‘It’s about the great innovation and really engaged fan base that we call Nerf Nation -- we inspire them to create the kinds of trick shots to get engaged,’ said Hasbro chairman and CEO Brian Goldner in an interview with TheStreet. Added Goldner, ‘We have a new lineup called Nerf Rival that is more paintball-like in that it has the circular projectiles, but it doesn’t have the paint.’ The company also arguably had one of the must-have toys for the holidays in interactive board game Pie Face. Hasbro will launch a new variation of the popular game shortly. In the end though demand for Star Wars toys stole the show for Hasbro. The company says it sold about $500 million in Star Wars toys last year. TheStreet’s Brian Sozzi reports from New York City.
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