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PR: Marvel Reports Q1 2007 EPS of $0.56 Driven by Strength across All Businesses

by on May 8, 2007

Spider-Man 3 Sequel Takes Box Office by Storm with Record-Setting $151 Million Opening Weekend –

Marvel will host a webcast today for all investors at 9:00 a.m. EDT available at: www.Marvel.com/webcasts or www.earnings.com

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL), a global character-based entertainment and licensing company, today reported operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2007.
For Q1 2007, Marvel reported that net sales rose to $151.4 million and net income increased to $46.8 million, or $0.56 per diluted share, compared to net sales of $90.1 million and net income of $17.5 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, in Q1 2006. The year-over-year increases in net income and EPS are largely attributable to the strength of the company’s licensing operations, complemented by increased contributions from both toys and comic book publishing. Q1 2007 results reflect the recognition of much of the minimum licensing guarantees related to Marvel’s Spider-Man merchandising joint venture (JV) with Sony generated by the release of the Spider-Man 3 feature film last weekend.

Marvel Entertainment, Inc.

Segment Net Sales/Operating Income
(in Millions)

Three Months Ended
3/31/07 3/31/06
Licensing: Net Sales $ 98.9 $ 39.6
Operating Income 80.9 25.2
Publishing: Net Sales 27.5 23.9
Operating Income 11.5 8.9
Toys: Net Sales 25.0 26.6
Operating Income 15.3 4.0
Film Production: Operating Costs (1) (3.0) (1.5)
Corporate Overhead: (3.6) (4.6)
TOTAL NET SALES $151.4 $ 90.1

(1) These costs principally consist of compensation related to personnel devoted to the Company’s film production efforts, which efforts commenced late in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Marvel’s Chairman, Morton Handel, commented, “Marvel’s businesses benefited from global visibility and demand created for Marvel-branded merchandise, primarily from the recent release of major studio-licensed feature films including Spider-Man 3, which achieved a record-breaking opening weekend domestic box office of $151 million. Our Q1 performance also reflects the diverse base of revenue sources that we have built across consumer product segments.

“We are very pleased with our partnership with Hasbro and their performance under our toy license agreement. With the support of our toy division personnel, Hasbro has executed a broad and compelling toy line across multiple categories, and the line is performing well in the marketplace. Of note, the release of Spider-Man 3 triggered a second, non-refundable minimum guarantee payment to Marvel, amounting to $70 million, pursuant to our toy license agreement with Hasbro. That payment has already been received in the second quarter and will be recognized as revenue in future periods as royalties are ‘earned out’ under the agreement.

“Marvel is working on a growing array of initiatives to drive consumer exposure and provide new revenue streams in coming years. These initiatives adhere to our risk- and capital-averse business model. In support of our Marvel Studios film slate, we have partnered with Sega® to produce video games based on Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk as well as Captain America and Thor. Additionally, in late March we executed a license agreement in connection with the development in Dubai of a major new theme park destination centered on the Marvel Universe of characters. Work has also begun on Marvel’s first Broadway project, with the development, by our licensee, of a Spider-Man musical led by director Julie Taymor. Music for the project is being created by Bono and The Edge of the rock band U2. Both initiatives will take several years to develop but are expected to support Marvel’s core objectives.

“Lastly, work on our Marvel Studios self-produced feature film line-up for 2008 progresses on schedule. Principal photography is proceeding well and on schedule for Iron Man,and pre-production on Hulk, the filming of which is scheduled to begin this summer,is achieving important milestones. Recent progress includes the casting of Edward Norton in the lead role of Bruce Banner and Liv Tyler as his love interest, Betty Ross.”

First Quarter Segment Review:

  • Licensing Segment net sales more than doubled from the year-ago period to $98.9 million, primarily due to the contribution of Marvel’s Spider-Man merchandising joint venture (JV) with Sony and strength in domestic licensing. The Spider-Man JV had revenues of $56.9 million in Q1 2007 which were triggered by the passing of the “on-shelf date” related to Spider-Man 3 feature film. International licensing sales declined slightly from Q1 2006 levels, principally due a gain recorded in the Q1 2006 period. Revenues from Marvel Studios increased due to participation payments on past films as well as option payments on potential future films.

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. Licensing Sales by Division (Unaudited)
(in millions)
Three Months Ended
Domestic Consumer Products $ 27.2 $ 23.7
International Consumer Products 11.4 12.1
Spider-Man L.P. (Domestic and International) 56.9 2.0
Marvel Studios 3.4 1.8
Total Licensing Segment $ 98.9 $ 39.6

  • Marvel’s Publishing Segment net sales increased 15% or $3.6 million from Q1 2006 to $27.5 million principally due to higher unit volumes in the direct and bookstore markets and a price increase that was instituted on various titles during April 2006. Comic book sales also benefited from the final two issues of Civil War, a high-profile special comic book series which has tie-ins to established comic book series, and Dark Tower, a comic book series based on novels by Stephen King, sales of which began in the first quarter of 2007. Publishing segment operating income in Q1 2007 was $11.5 million with an operating margin of 42%, compared to $8.9 million in operating income and an operating margin of 37% in the prior-year period. The improvement in operating margin principally reflects the benefit of operating leverage on higher sales.
  • The transition in Marvel’s Toy Segment net sales from toys produced by Marvel in 2006 to toy production principally by Hasbro, Marvel’s master toy licensee, in 2007, contributed to a modest year-over-year decrease in segment revenues to $25.0 million versus $26.6 million in Q1 2006. However, margins improved sharply in the Toy Segment in Q1 2007 reflecting contributions of higher margin license and service fee income. Sales recorded in 2006 as wholesale sales subject to the corresponding cost of revenues expense generated operating margins of 15% versus operating margins of 61% achieved in Q1 2007.

Balance Sheet Update:

As of March 31, 2007, Marvel had cash and investments of $40.8 million (including $10.6 million in restricted cash) and no borrowings under its $100 million line of credit with HSBC Bank. During the first quarter of 2007, Marvel purchased approximately 829,000 shares, at an average price of $26.75 under its repurchase program. As of March 31, 2007, the Company had $27.9 million remaining under its $100 million share repurchase authorization announced June 5, 2006.

Marvel Studios Entertainment Pipeline

(Development and release dates for licensed properties are controlled by studio partners)

Licensed Marvel Character Feature Film Line-Up For 2007

Studio/Distributor Status
Ghost Rider Sony Released February 16, 2007
Spider-Man 3 Sony Released May 4, 2007
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Fox June 15, 2007 release

Film Projects Being Developed by Marvel – partial list
Film/Character Studio Status
Iron Man Marvel Principal photography in progress; May 2, 2008 release (1)
The Incredible Hulk Marvel Pre-production, June 13, 2008 release
Ant-Man Marvel Writer and director engaged
Captain America Marvel Writer engaged
Nick Fury Marvel Writer engaged
Thor Marvel Writer engaged
The Avengers Marvel Writer engaged

Marvel Character Animated TV Projects
Character Studio Status
Fantastic Four Moonscoop SAS (France) 26, 30 minute episodes; U.S. distribution on Cartoon Network started in September 2006; scheduled to relaunch in June 2007
Spider-Man Sony In development; US distribution agreement with Kids’ WB!
Wolverine and the X-Men First Serve Toonz (India) 26, 30 minute episodes in development
Iron Man Method Films (France) 26, 30 minute episodes in development

Marvel Character Animated Direct-to-DVD Projects
Title Partner Status
The Invincible Iron Man Lionsgate Released January 2007
Doctor Strange Lionsgate August 14, 2007 release
Teen Avengers Lionsgate Targeted July 2008 release (1)

Marvel Character Live Stage Projects
Project Producer Status
Spider-Man the Musical Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle,
Martin McCallum,
Marvel Entertainment,
SONY Pictures Entertainment
In development/opening date to be determined; Julie Taymor director; music & lyrics by U2’s Bono and The Edge; (1)
2007 – 2008 Video Game Releases
(Release dates controlled by Publishing partner)
Publisher Title Status
Take-Two Ghost Rider Released Q1 2007
Konami Marvel Vs. Card Game Released Q1 2007
Activision Spider-Man 3 Released Q2 2007
Take-Two Fantastic Four II Q2 2007
Sega Iron Man Targeted 2008 (1)
Sega The Incredible Hulk Targeted 2008 (1)
(1) Represents a change from the previously supplied schedule
Financial Guidance:
Marvel reiterated its 2007 financial guidance for net sales, net income and diluted earnings per share, as reflected in the table below. A few key metrics for Marvel’s 2007 guidance are highlighted below.

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. – Financial Guidance
(in millions, except per-share amounts) 2007 Guidance (2)
2006 Actual
Net sales $375 – $435 $352
Net income $111 – $132 $59
Diluted EPS $1.30 – $1.55 $0.67

(2) As previously provided on February 26, 2007.

Primary 2007 Financial Guidance Drivers:

  • Expected strong Spider-Man movie merchandise licensing triggered by the theatrical release of the Spider-Man 3 movie.
  • Toy license contributions related to Marvel’s toy license agreement with Hasbro.
  • Initial film license revenue contributions from feature films slated for release in 2007.
  • Strong contributions from domestic and international licensing revenues.
  • Strong growth in interactive revenues from anticipated license fees in excess of minimum guarantees.
  • Continued, modest top-line and bottom-line growth from the publishing division.
  • An estimated effective tax rate of 38-40% in 2007.
  • Marvel anticipates the majority of its revenue and net income for 2007 will occur in the first half of the year.
  • Marvel’s guidance is based on 84 million diluted shares outstanding for 2007 and does not reflect any prospective share repurchase activity in 2007.

Marvel cautions investors that variations in the timing of licenses and entertainment events, the timing of their revenue recognition, and their level of success may result in variations and uncertainty in forecasting the Company’s financial results. These factors could have a material impact on year-over-year and sequential quarterly results comparisons as well as Marvel’s ability to achieve the financial performance included in its financial guidance.

About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.

With a library of over 5,000 high-profile characters built over more than sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios), publishing (via Marvel Comics) and toys, with emphasis on feature films, home DVD, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Marvel’s strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. For more information visit www.marvel.com.

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