Business: Marvel hangs on in ’08, but down in ’09

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Jim Milliot has a quick analysis of Marvel’s year-end numbers:

Marvel’s publishing division finished 2008 with sales of $125.4 million, virtually flat with 2007 when revenue was $125.7 million. Operating profit slipped to $47.3 million from $53.5 million, which the company said was primarily due to ongoing investments in digital initiatives. Unlike most traditional book publishers, Marvel did well at the end of the year with fourth quarter sales up 9%, to $33.1 million and earnings rising to $13 million from $12.3 million, which the company said benefitted from higher profile releases.


However, ’09 is expected to be down a bit without the added boost of IRON MAN.

Sales in the publishing segment are expected to be flat at best with sales ranging from $115 million to $125 million with earnings continuing to be negatively impacted by digital media spending.

Comments

  1. “However, ‘09 is expected to be down a bit without the added boost of IRON MAN.”

    So, we know the movies bring people in to comics for a while. What needs to be done to keep them with us?

  2. “What needs to be done to keep them with us?”

    Not “Secret Wars” or “Final Crisis”.

  3. “What needs to be done to keep them with us?”

    Not “Secret Invasion” or “Final Crisis”.

  4. Charles Knight says:

    “So, we know the movies bring people in to comics for a while. ”

    Actually we don’t (well not from that analysis), the Iron Man comment is in regards to total revenue *not* publishing.

  5. Alan Coil says:

    Marvel will be asking for bailout money in 2010.

  6. Allen Sant says:

    Stupid Question
    Did Marvel make a profit, or did it just not reach it’s projections.

  7. michael says:

    I know I’m a broken record on this but….

    Rising prices (according to Joe Q at the NYCC ’09 panel, intended to keep talent like Bendis at Marvel from running away to Hollywood gold) has not helped one bit.

  8. Michael says:

    Allan: They made a profit, just not a significant increase in the profit they made for 2007.

  9. Marvel exceeded Wall Street’s projections for the 4th quarter. And considering how much publishing is getting hammered financially this year, that’s pretty amazing. Iron Man and the toy deals helped a lot. As a former MVL stockholder, I’d see staying “flat” in this economy as a victory. Wall Street does, too. The stock was up more than 15 percent today, which is unheard of in this economy. By way of comparison, a gain of 1-2 % typically is a really good day for any company, especially today.

    2009 may be a rougher year because there are no Marvel-produced movies being released. The slate resumes in 2010. That’s one reason I sold the stock late last year, when it was in the 30s and close to its all-time high.

  10. Dennis V. says:

    michael wrote:
    “Rising prices (according to Joe Q at the NYCC ‘09 panel, intended to keep talent like Bendis at Marvel from running away to Hollywood gold) has not helped one bit.”

    I’m perfectly happy with Bendis leaving for that “Hollywood gold” if it means a $2.99 New Avengers cover price instead of a $3.99 one. :)

  11. I’d say Marvel Entertainment Inc is doing okay:
    Number of Employees: 250
    Revenue per Employee: $1,810,725

    But maybe some of those employees are doing more heavy lifting than others.

    ( from http://www.portfolio.com/resources/company-profiles/Marvel-Entertainment-Incorporated-2884/people)

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