updated 4/19/2004 9:26:57 AM ET 2004-04-19T13:26:57

Hasbro Inc., the nation’s second largest toy maker behind Mattel Inc., said Monday its earnings rose in the first quarter due to strong sales of classic brands such as Transformers and Super Soakers.

The Pawtucket, R.I.-based toy maker reported net earnings of $6.5 million, or 3 cents a share, for the January-March period, up from $1.2 million, or a penny a share, a year ago. The report was in line with the average analyst estimate, according to a survey by Thomson First Call.

Revenue rose 2.7 percent to $474.2 million from $461.8 million a year ago but short of the $480.4 million expected by analysts. U.S. toy sales fell 0.7 percent while the games segment rose 14 percent.

“We are pleased with the continued progress we made during the first quarter, given the uncertain retail environment,” said chief executive Alfred Verrecchia in a statement.

Hasbro credited the successful launch last month of Duel Masters, a trading card came, with the increase in game sales. The company said growth in children’s and preschool categories was offset by a decline in sales in the adult game category, primarily related to the Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition, now in its third year.

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