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Marvel (MVL) Q4 Earnings

Marvel (NYSE: MVL) , owner publisher and licensor of the Marvel comic book character library, report weak Q4 earnings.  

Net income was down 14c a share to $11.7m from $25.9m the prior year.  Toy and publishing segments were up, but the licensing division was a drag on earnings.  4th quarter net sales were only $25.5m down from $81.7m last year.  Among that decrease, Marvel’s joint venture with Sony for the Spider-Man franchise provided sales of only $600k off of $4.3m in the prior.  As a positive note, however, the May release of Spiderman 3 should bring positive results in the coming quarters.

Also of interest, Marvel has secured $500m in financing to build their own internal film unit which will allow them to release movies without the revenue share needed in a joint venture.  This both increases the company’s risk exposure but also its potential revenue upside.  Iron Man and Hulk 2 are due to be the first tiles for release from this in house studio with likely targets set for summer/winter 2008.

More detailed press coverage on Marvel’s finances can be found at:

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