Toys will always sell, but the toy industry faces serious headwinds. Toys are a highly cyclical business and, despite the S&P hitting all-time highs this week, an economic downturn is expected down the line.
Add to this the ongoing threat of tariffs in the US-China trade war which has prompted CEOs, including Hasbro’s, to lobby Trump to reconsider his tariffs.
Here are the top toymakers and sellers:
SpinMaster has been a growing strongly since going public in 2015, renown for innovation and in establishing a global brand, but the Canadian toymaker has been struggling lately. The street respects its management, but expects the stock to go sideways for a while.
(A Top Pick Oct 23/17, Down 11%) When ToysRus went bankrupt last year it threw something into the equation all last year. He still likes it and thinks management is doing a good job.
Yes, the Canadian icon sells toys, lots of them, branding this department the Kids’ Zone. The stock itself is facing various headwinds from e-commerce and leverage from recent acquisitions that the company is still digesting. The recent pullback may offer a buying opportunity, though long-term prospects remain positive.
It had a very good run and had a bit of a dip here. The worst for Canada has been seen from an energy price perspective. The retail area is economically sensitive and hot hit.
Canada’s dominant bookseller also offers a robust toy section, but Indigo has taken a hit after missing its earnings in the last four quarters.
Canada’s Berkshire-Hathaway has endured some big swings in its chart, but investors continue to bet on Prem Watsa’s investing acumen to steer his company to calmer waters with fresh investments in BlackBerry, India and even Toys ‘R’ Us (Canada).
Will it break out of the trading range of $5.50-7.70? You're buying Prem Watsa when you buy this. Prem has done some brilliant things, and other things that weren't. He's not Warren Buffett, though. He's not attracted to the underlying businesses.
Still one of America’s largest toymakers, Mattel has been struggling for the past few years in the face of e-commerce. Losing retailer Toys ‘R’ Us didn’t help. The latest CEO has yet to right this ship, while some investors hope for a buyout to end this company’s woes.
This has been a really tough stock. Has come under quite a bit of pressure. You would think it would be a lower beta name and it seems that all beta names have gone up. They have really suffered from low demand. Have all sorts of Frozen stuff, which is supposed to be in high…
In contrast to Mattel, Hasbro’s stock price has climbed over the past five years, despite Toys ‘R’ Us’ exit in early 2018. Business is so good that Hasbro even opened a movie studio along the lines of Marvel. However, Hasbro faces higher costs in the face of Trump’s tariffs in the face of the ongoing US-China trade war.
When comparing this to Mattel (MAT-Q), you get a really good company. In this game space, you have a consumer stock that has been there forever and that continues to generate wonderful free cash flows. The dividend has been growing at a wonderful pace. Has no problem if he wanted to own this.
As the grown-ups buy tools, the kids play with toys at Home Depot. This sector has some insulation from e-commerce, so the stock continues to do well as homeowners renovate their houses in this late inning of the economic cycle.
(A Top Pick Feb 20/18, Down 2%) Unfortunately, he got stopped out. There's more baked into HD than meets the eye. He wants HD back in his portfolio, like FedFex.
A big-box retailer like Costco and Wal-Mart, Big Lots has locations in the U.S., though it failed to break into Canada. Despite beating earnings the last two quarters and underoing a store remodeling campaign, Big Lots stock (and sales) has been struggling since peaking in January 2018.
Has a model price of around $24. Has competition with Costco and Wal-Mart. Good double overnight or just stay where it is.