This story was written by Rory Maher.
Marvel (NYSE: MVL) beat consensus estimates with its first-quarter results, as the company's revenue jumped 75 percent from the year-ago quarter, to $197 million, thanks to growth in interactive games licensing and sales of The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man DVDs. (Both DVDs were released after the first quarter of last year and thus weren't included in those results.) Net income fell about 2 percent, to $44.5 million, but also beat estimates, as did earnings per share, which was also down about 2 percent, to $0.57.
Licensing: Revenue declined 4 percent to about $81 million, mostly because of a drop in revenue from Spider Man merchandise, but bolstered by the sale of consumer products, both in the U.S. and overseas. Internationally, sales of interactive games contributed to an almost doubling of revenue over the first quarter last year.
Film Production: Revenue increased to $90.4 million from nothing in first quarter of last year when there were no Marvel films in theaters or on DVD. In the press release , the company said X-Men Origins: Wolverine had generated $158 million in worldwide box office sales so far after having been released in theaters last weekend.
Publishing: Revenue declined 2 percent to $25.8 million. The company said it continues to see value in digital media, having invested $1 million in its digital publishing initiatives during the quarter.
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By Rory Maher