Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Marvel profit tops Street

Marvel Entertainment Inc's (MVL.N) quarterly profit topped market estimates on strength at its licensing segment and continued demand for the home video versions of "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk," its first self-produced films released last year.

The media company -- whose businesses include publishing, licensing and movies -- raised its 2009 sales outlook, as well as the lower end of its earnings outlook for the year, based on the robust first quarter and a decline in the anticipated full-year tax rate.

First-quarter net income fell to $44.5 million, or 57 cents a share, from $45.2 million, or 58 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 75 percent to $197 million.

Analysts were looking for earnings of 37 cents a share, excluding exceptional items, on revenue of $138.2 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

For 2009, the company forecast earnings of $1.10 to $1.35 a share, lifting the lower end of its previous forecast by 10 cents a share.

Shares of Marvel -- which has a portfolio of over 5000 characters, including Spider-Man and X-Men -- closed at $31.10 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. They have gained 13 percent in the last month.

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