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Wall Street Jitters End over Jobs' Disney-Bashing; Marvel Courts Pixar

Everything was back to normal Friday on Wall Street after Pixar stock dipped slightly on Thursday following ceo Steve Jobs' mid-week assault on Disney during a conference call with analysts to rejoice Pixar's fourth quarter earnings. On Friday, shares of Pixar Animation Studios stock rose 1.1% to finish at $63.27 after slipping 1.5% on Thursday to finish at $62.58. On Wednesday, Pixar reported net income of $83.9M, or $1.44 a share, for the period-ended Dec. 31, thanks to the record-breaking FINDING NEMO, compared to $17M, or 31 cents a share for the comparable period in 2002.

Jobs also took the opportunity to criticize the state of Disney's animation in light of their imminent separation and Disney's intentions of making TOY STORY 3. "We feel sick about Disney doing sequels" Jobs said, proclaiming that his company prefers making originals. He also made clear, though, that Pixar has every right to make them if they change their mind.

Although Jobs added that it is "very unlikely" that Pixar and Disney would work again after their current agreement expires in 2005, analysts and industry insiders have speculated that the mood could swiftly change if Roy Disney is successful in his bid to reclaim control of The Disney Co.

Separately, Marvel Enterprises has met with Pixar and other producers to interest them in translating their comic book characters into filmed entertainment. With more than 4,700 characters in its catalogue, Marvel vice chairman Peter Cuneo expressed interest in increasing the number of "James Bond-type" franchises in play to 15, and that with Pixar's "incredible record," he would certainly like to be in business with them.

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