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Marvel Performing, Well, Marvelously

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In fearful times, US looks to comic books, fantasy for solace.

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Superheroes, they're not. Ben Shalom Bernanke lacks a certain physical toughness. Paulson's got the look, but his inability to muster financial miracles reeks of ordinariness. And Bush? Polls show that zits inspire greater confidence.

Reality is setting in: We are, in all our humanity, mere mortals. And as we're torn from our fantasies of McMansions and credit everlasting, we're humbled by a force greater than anything we can control: The free and wild market.

No wonder that, amid all the financial chaos, the comic book business is healthier than ever. It gives us all the supermen we could ever need, and generally for less than 5 bucks.

Revenue at Marvel Entertainment (MVL) has been growing in double digits for the past 3 years, according to Fortune. Meanwhile, profit margins clock in at around 40%.

Home to the X-Men, Spiderman, and Iron Man, Marvel is performing, well, marvelously. And while licensing its properties to Hollywood does indeed bring in an obscene amount of money, publishing accounted for $32 million of its $157 million in revenue in the quarter ended June 30th.

Here's a heartwarming statistic: 60% of comic book sales take place at…comic book shops. Imagine that. People congregating around a shared passion in the real world. For a demographic forever condemned to the realm of online geekdom, comic book fans still understand the value of face-to-face interactions.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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