Investors in Marvel Enterprises (NYSE: MVL ) -- hey, I'm one of them -- have hung on through thin as well as thick because it's tough to predict what kind of tasty licensing deals will remain out there to bring in future revenues. Today brought out another one of those deals, a pact with mobile-phone content provider Mforma Group that will provide music, background screens, games, and other digital tchotchke based on Marvel's character library.
So perhaps we can forgive the Street's rather rude reception to the news, sending the stock down a tick on an otherwise green day for the market. Hey, maybe I'm not the only one wondering about the quality of Marvel's new partner. Clicking on the Blade Trinity section of the Mforma website, I was told that, upon purchasing the upcoming mobile game, I "must can save the planet from becoming a vampire infested wasteland."
Mforma must should fix this right away. It might could make the company seem unprofessional, despite the fact that it works with entertainment bigwigs such as Viacom (NYSE: VIA ) , Hasbro (NYSE: HAS ) , and Atari (Nasdaq: ATAR ) , as well as GE's (NYSE: GE ) and Vivendi's (NYSE: V ) Universal unit.
Although details weren't released, it's hard to imagine this being a bad deal for Marvel. In addition to putting Activision (Nasdaq: ATVI ) to work on yet another platform with Marvel games, it will provide worldwide exposure for Marvel products, since the firm works with 100 carriers in 40 countries. That cross-the-pond exposure is very good news, because recent reports, including one in today's New York Times, suggest that U.S. cell-phone users aren't so hyped for games, messaging, and other nonaudible uses as their foreign counterparts. This is the sort of situation that's led to recent post-IPO pessimism -- or realism, depending on your view -- at Mforma's publicly traded peer Jamdat.
While this deal may not give Marvel an immediate bump to the top or bottom lines, there are great opportunities for promotional synergies, and stockholders should take heart in the fact that the firm's relatively new overseas staff is looking toward the future. As anyone who's held the company since it was first a Stock Advisor pick knows, Marvel's pennies and nickels add up.
For related Foolishness:
- Sometimes, Marvel looks more like a pricey, buffoonish supervillain.
- Wondering whether firms like Jamdat can survive the hype?
- Marvel's future looks bright to some.
- Talk Marvel on the Fool's active discussion board. (Free trial required.)
Seth Jayson isn't even interested in bowling on his phone. At the time of publication, he owned shares of Marvel Enterprises, but had no positions in any other firm mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.