Marvel Ent. initiated financial guidance for 2007 and revised its financial guidance for 2006. The financial guidance was provided in conjunction with the reporting of operating results for the third quarter and nine-month periods ended Sept. 30, 2006.
For Q3 2006, Marvel reported net income of $13.2 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, net of a $0.7 million charge for FAS 123R share-based payments. This compares to net income of $23.4 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, in the year-ago third quarter period, which did not include any stock option expense.
Marvel's chairman, Morton Handel, commented, "The framework for Marvel's strategic transformation into a global entertainment company is largely complete, and we are excited about the outlook for our business in the coming years. We have refined the 2006 guidance as a result of better than expected operating results for the remainder of 2006. We have also initiated financial guidance for 2007 that demonstrates the strong lineup of entertainment and marketing exposure that should drive consumer awareness and sales of our licensed products. 2007 should be a pivotal year for Marvel, marked by three licensed feature film releases as well as the first full year of our toy license agreement with Hasbro.
"Of particular note in 2007, our Marvel Studios subsidiary expects to commence principal photography on our first Marvel-produced feature film, IRON MAN, in the first quarter of 2007, and we anticipate filming on THE HULK to begin later in the year for its newly announced June 27, 2008, release date. In addition, Marvel Studios will continue development on several films targeted for 2009 and beyond."
In addition, Marvel announced that it has signed a deal with SEGA of America Inc. and SEGA Europe Ltd., giving the videogame firm the exclusive rights to develop and distribute videogame titles for all platforms based on IRON MAN property. Under the multi-year agreement, SEGA has been granted the exclusive interactive rights to develop and distribute games based on both Marvel`s IRON MAN feature films and the classic comicbook iterations of the character.
The first IRON MAN project produced under the license agreement will be based on Marvel Studios' IRON MAN feature film starring Academy Award nominees Robert Downey Jr. and Terrence Howard, and directed by Jon Favreau.
"Marvel is recognized as one of the world's leaders in the entertainment industry and Sega is excited to be publishing the next-gen interactive entertainment based on IRON MAN, the first Marvel Studios project being brought to the widescreen," said Simon Jeffery, president/coo, SEGA of America Inc. "The IRON MAN history is filled with compelling and intriguing characters and stories and with the power of the next-gen systems, SEGA will be bringing these characters to life like never before."
David Maisel, evp, office of the chief exec of Marvel Ent., added, "SEGA is an excellent partner to bring our Iron Man franchise to the next generation consoles. SEGA is a powerful force in the videogame space and has always been on the cutting edge of the industry. We are very excited to be bringing IRON MAN to theaters in 2008 and to team with a great partner to simultaneously introduce Iron Man to the video game world."
More information can be found at www.marvel.com.