November 4, 2008 / 1:16 PM / 11 years ago

Marvel profit tops Street, sees modest 2009

(Reuters) - Comic book publisher Marvel Entertainment Inc posted a quarterly profit that topped estimates, helped by earlier-than-expected box office and DVD revenue from its film “Iron Man.”

A life size "Iron Man" is on display in the Marvel booth at the 39th annual Comic Con Convention in San Diego July 24, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Blake

But Marvel said it anticipated only a modest performance in 2009 for revenue and net income, and its shares fell 8 percent in premarket trading.

The company forecast a $45 million decline in licensing revenue next year related to Spider-Man L.P., its Spider-Man feature film merchandising joint venture.

The outlook reflected the absence of any new Marvel Studios feature film releases during the year and a related decrease in licensing activity, it said.

For the third quarter, the company said it recognized about $60 million in film revenue associated with the box office performance of “Iron Man.” Film production segment sales for the period were $90.2 million.

The company, which houses a cast of more than 5,000 characters including Spider-Man and X-Men and films like “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk,” also raised its 2008 forecast.

It now expects earnings of $2.45 to $2.65 a share on revenue of $640 million to $670 million.

Marvel had earlier forecast earnings of $1.55 and $1.75 a share for 2008, on sales of $450 million to $480 million.

Marvel reported a third-quarter net profit of $50.6 million, or 64 cents a share, on net sales of $182.5 million. Analysts had forecast a profit of 52 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Marvel shares fell 8 percent in premarket trade to $28.50.

Reporting by Deepti Govind in Bangalore; Editing by Mike Miller

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