Our own David Gardner has twice played the good guy and recommended Marvel in his Motley Fool Stock Advisor. Both recommendations have produced Hulk-like triple-digit percentage gains. Good times may yet lie ahead.
When all was said and done,Spider-Man captured $822 million in its web. If Spider-Man 2, due for release by Sony
You just can't beat a multimovie franchise. Sony will release Spider-Man 3 in 2007. Other studios have sequels for X-Men, Blade, The Hulk, and The Punisher in the pipeline. As the volume of movies grows -- Marvel has four scheduled for 2004 and five for 2005 -- so will the profit potential.
Look no further than Lions Gate Entertainment
Expect to see Marvel characters on live-action television, too. The future's so bright, superheroes are going to have to wear shades.
Seven Marvel character-branded video games are scheduled for release through Dec. 2005. Two of the licensees -- Activision
Of course, as movie revenues boom, so do toy sales. Why own Mattel
License a character, then rake in the royalties -- that's the Marvel model. The results are enough to make Peter Parker take his eyes off Mary Jane Watson. Operating margins clock in at 47%. How about a return on equity and a return on assets of 44% and 29%, respectively? Profit margins are 26%. Now, that's a Fantastic Four -- oh, and that movie arrives from Fox
And yet, the stock trades at a reasonable 15 times earnings and is down 20% from its 52-week high. At an enterprise value roughly 11 times free cash flow, Marvel is a money machine. If David Gardner is listening, debt-free Marvel is a true marvel -- and might just deserve a third recommendation.
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Fool contributor W.D. Crotty owns stock in Marvel and Walt Disney.