NEW YORK (AP) — Hasbro may have toys tied into a pair of the summer's most anticipated blockbusters — "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "The Dark Knight Rises," a Batman movie — but it's not enough to offset persistent weakness in its games and girls divisions, according to Citi Investment Research.
Toys sold in conjunction with big releases are usually huge money makers, and Hasbro has plenty. Along with the Spider-Man and Batman, it also has toys tied into "The Avengers," an d "Battleship," both released in May.
But a shift in consumer spending from board games to smartphones and tablets, according to Citi analyst Gregory Badishkanian, is hurting the maker of Scrabble, Monopoly, Operation, and others classic games.
Sales of My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop have been weak, and the European toy market is depressed.
"Based on our latest checks, we believe it will be difficult for Hasbro to achieve sales growth in 2012,"Badishkanian wrote, cutting the company's stock to "Sell" from "Neutral."
Shares slipped 64 cents to $32.35 in afternoon trading. The stock is up about 3 percent for the year.
Hasbro Inc. did not immediately return a request for comment.
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