'Spidey 3' toys give Marvel little fun in Q2


Shares of Marvel Entertainment fell close to a low it set exactly a year ago after the superhero powerhouse reported higher second-quarter financials that fell below Wall Street expectations and said it has lowered its second-half toy revenue forecast.

Management cited possible lower reorders from toy partner Hasbro Inc. as a reason but reiterated its overall full-year 2007 earnings projections.

Marvel shares closed down 5.1% at $22.73 after setting an intraday low of $21.72. On Aug. 7, 2006, the stock hit a low of $18.30.

Marvel chairman Morton Handel also said Tuesday that the company has completed principal photography on its first self-produced picture, "Iron Man," and on July 9 started it for its second film, "The Incredible Hulk." Both movies are slated for a summer 2008 release.

Marvel posted a second-quarter profit of $29.1 million, up 78.5% from a year ago. Revenue rose about 20% to $101.5 million. However, both figures for the latest period fell short of Wall Street estimates.

Licensing revenue has continued to benefit from "Spider-Man 3" merchandise, while Marvel's publishing segment has seen "strong sales" for its Civil War series, the company said.

In 2008, Marvel will release its first two self-produced films, which will bring the company the direct benefit from each film's profit in addition to the related fees from merchandising.

The firm also said it is moving along with licensing-based feature films, such as 20th Century Fox's "Wolverine" and Lionsgate's "The Punisher 2."