Each and every single day, Wall Street analysts upgrade some shares, downgrade others, and”commence policy” on a couple more. But do these analysts even know what they’re referring to? Nowadays, we’re taking one high profile Wall Street choice and placing it under the microscope… As of now, it is functioning in the toys department. This afternoon, Jefferies initiated coverage of three of the largest names in toys (although admittedly, since a wave of consolidation hit the sector in the 1980s, there are not a great deal of big names left in toys). Tic-tac-toe, three in a row, the investment banker set out to get investors its thoughts on JAKKS Pacific (NASDAQ: JAKK), Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT), and Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) — and why Hasbro is the only stock in this sector that Jefferies really likes. Not jacked about JAKKS Let us begin at the start with JAKKS Pacific, a inventory best known for such self-described”popular proprietary brands” as BIG-FIGS, Max Tow, and Moose Mountain. (Yeah, I understand. Barbie and Star Wars, they ai not.) With most of its owned brands afflicted by less-than-stellar name recognition, Jefferies laments that JAKKS is made to rely on licensed intellectual property to induce sales of 70% to 80% of its goods. Furthermore, Jefferies warns that”variability Q/Q in working performance” is another motive to assign JAKKS a non”risk-adjusted multiple” into earnings. The most Jefferies is ready to state in favor of this $4.15 inventory is that it will possibly rise 8% to $4.50. But even then, the analyst is not comfortable giving JAKKS over a hold rating. Miserable Mattel There’s little joy in Jefferies’ evaluation for Mattel investors, either. The last time we discovered from Jefferies on the topic of Mattel, the analyst had suspended a $32 price target on the firm — but it turned out, the inventory wasn’t any Barbie Dream House. Mattel stock has since sunk to within pennies of 22, and Jefferies thinks that price sounds about right. Jefferies is assigning Mattel a hold rating and opining that unless and until it sees”a multi-year framework to make Mattel always competitive across its portfolio of brands,” there’s very little expectation for this stock to outperform the market Regarding Hasbro Last but not least, Jefferies’ preferred toy stock now is Hasbro, that costs $109 and change, but that Jefferies sees going to $125 annually. As explained this morning on StreetInsider.com (subscription required), Jefferies believes Hasbro includes a powerful”tailwind” out of its”material” (i.e., toys), along with a solid balance sheet to its credit. Over the previous 3 years, data from S&P Global Market Intelligence demonstrates that Hasbro has more than doubled its cash reserves while growing long-term debt only 25%. The net result of this can be Jefferies currently has $288 million more cash than debt on its books, a fact that Jefferies characterizes as”improving leverage” and”expanding financial capacity.” The Main thing: Valuation In a P/E ratio of 24.3, Hasbro stock prices a good deal less than Mattel’s 28 multiple — and much, much less than the 264 times earnings a share of JAKKS will set you back. Yet even so, Hasbro is far from a inexpensive stock. S&P Global analysts project that the finest Hasbro will have the ability to produce within the next five years is roughly a 10% annualized earnings growth rate. That is far better than the 5 percent projected growth rate at JAKKS, rather than far behind Mattel’s 11.5% projection. Nonetheless, it works out to some 2.4 PEG ratio on Hasbro stock, which seems kind of pricey. Slow growth and high prices are both excellent reasons to prevent Mattel and JAKKS. However, to justify buying even Hasbro, Jefferies finds itself pressured to assume”multi-year EPS upside.” In other words, the analyst must assume not only that Hasbro will reach the growth targets that Wall Street has set to it (and historically, Wall Street tends to be over optimistic in expansion assumptions, not beneath positive ), however Jefferies also has to presume that Hasbro will grow faster than Wall Street thinks possible so as to justify purchasing a stock at such a high PEG ratio.