PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) -- Hasbro Inc.'s (AMEX:HAS - news) first-quarter earnings grew by more than 75 percent from a year ago, fueled by strong sales of its popular interactive Furby dolls.
The nation's No. 2 toymaker, which trails Mattel Inc. (NYSE:MAT - news), reported on Thursday that it earned $13.79 million, or 7 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 28, compared with $7.79 million, or 4 cents a share, a year ago.
Sales were $668 million, up from $483 million a year ago.
Hasbro's earnings topped Wall Street analysts' estimates. Its stock closed up $1.87 1/2, or 6 percent, to $32 in trading on the American Stock Exchange.
Revenue growth was primarily led by Tiger Electronics, which makes the Furby toys. Hasbro acquired Tiger Electronics a year ago.
``Furby pets continue to be a smash hit,'' said Alan G. Hasenfeld, Hasbro's chairman and chief executive officer.
In addition, Hasbro saw a double-digit sales growth at its interactive division, which produces computer and video games, and had brisk sales of its line based on the popular Teletubbies children's television show.
In the second quarter, Hasbro anticipates strong demand for its toys based on the upcoming ``Star Wars'' movie. It will also be shipping Furby dolls in five foreign languages and will extend its lineup of toys based on Pokeman, the popular video game character.
Hasbro also owns several well-known brands, including Playskool, Kenner, Tonka, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers and Galoob.
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