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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 9, 2010

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Single-copy magazine sales off 9% in 2nd half

Advertiser Staff and News Services

NEW YORK Purchases of U.S. magazines at newsstands and other retail outlets fell 9 percent in the second half of 2009, a slight improvement from the 12 percent year-over-year decline in the first half of the year.

Those figures released yesterday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations show how the weak economy continues to batter the magazine industry at a time when consumers have plenty of free reading alternatives available online.

Newsstand and other single-copy retail sales are important for publishers because they charge more per copy than for subscriptions, which fell 1.1 percent in last year's second half.

BOEING CO.'S LARGEST PLANE TAKES 1ST FLIGHT

EVERETT, Wash. Boeing Co.'s giant 747-8 freighter the biggest plane the company has ever built successfully completed its first flight yesterday, a year later than planned.

The huge plane took off from Everett's Paine Field shortly after noon and returned to Paine after an approximately 3 1/2-hour flight.

A crowd Boeing estimated at more than 5,000 gathered to watch the plane take to the air. The flight came just one day short of the 41st anniversary of the first flight of the original 747 model.

At 250 feet long more than twice the length of the Wright Brothers' first flight the plane is about 18 feet longer than the existing 747-400 jumbo jet.

The freighter is to enter service late this year. It was delayed from its original 2009 launch by design changes, limited engineering resources and an eight-week strike.

HASBRO FORECASTS GROWTH IN 2010

NEW YORK Strength in its boys' brands such as Transformers and Nerf, along with its core game brands including Scrabble and Monopoly, should boost Hasbro's results in 2010, the company said yesterday.

The owner of the G.I. Joe, Tonka and Playskool brands also said it expects sales and earnings per share to grow this year, although it didn't offer specifics.

Combined with strong fourth-quarter earnings, the positive news sent Hasbro shares up 12 percent, and they briefly touched a 52-week high. Hasbro has seen earnings-per-share grow for nine years straight and revenue for five. The quarter's big sellers for boys Transformers, G.I. Joe, Nerf, Play-Doh and Tonka helped sales climb 12 percent to $1.38 billion, from $1.23 billion a year earlier.

SMALLER 4Q LOSS NOT ENOUGH TO BOOST EA

NEW YORK Electronic Arts Inc. is showing a smaller net loss in its last quarter even though its video game sales declined.

On an adjusted basis, the publisher of games like "Madden" earned a profit slightly above analysts' muted expectations. But the company's profit and revenue forecasts were below expectations and EA shares slipped in after-hours trading yesterday.

Electronic Arts posted a net loss of $82 million, 20 cents per share, for the October-December period. A year earlier it lost $641 million. Revenue fell 25 percent to $1.24 billion.

The company gave a forecast below Wall Street's expectations for the current quarter, even though it is launching several big-name titles during the period.

Associated Press