Spidey Saves Marvel's Earnings: Fool by Numbers

Earlier today, Stock Advisor selection Marvel Entertainment (NYSE: MVL  ) released earnings for the fourth quarter ended March 31.

  • Sales and profits skyrocketed, with Marvel recognizing more than $50 million in deferred up-front payments received last year from its Spider-Man joint venture with Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) .
  • Without similarly sized up-front payments in Q1, free cash flow declined by 73%. Even so, Marvel produced more than $22 million in cash.
  • And the publishing business continues to do well, earning a 42% operating margin -- its best since 2004 -- on higher volume and better pricing for its Civil War series and the death of comic icon Captain America.
  • Perhaps that's why the 826 amateur and professional investors covering the stock in our Motley Fool CAPS investor intelligence database give Marvel four of the maximum five stars.

(Figures in thousands, except per-share data)

Income Statement Highlights

Q1 2007

Q1 2006






Net Profit








Diluted Shares




Get back to basics with the income statement.

Margin Checkup

Q1 2007

Q1 2006


Gross Margin




Operating Margin




Net Margin




*Expressed in percentage points.

Margins are the earnings engine.

Balance Sheet Highlights


Q1 2007

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Cash + ST Invest.




Accounts Rec.









Q1 2007

Q1 2006


Accounts Payable




Long-Term Debt




The balance sheet reflects the company's health.

Cash Flow Checkup

Q1 2007

Q1 2006


Cash From Ops.




Capital Expenditures




Free Cash Flow




Free cash flow is a Fool's best friend.

Related Foolishness:

Marvel is a Stock Advisor pick. Click here to get 30 days of free access to the entire portfolio, which is beating the market by nearly 39%.

Fool by Numbers is designed to give you the raw earnings information in a timely fashion, putting all the numbers you need in one easy-to-read place. But at The Motley Fool, we believe numbers tell only part of the story, so check for more of our in-depth discussion of what the numbers mean.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers, who is ranked 6,444 out of more than 28,400 rated investors in CAPS, still owns more than 2,000 comic books but didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. His portfolio holdings can be found at Tim's Fool profile. His thoughts on Foolishness and investing may be found in his blog. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy always adds up.

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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