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 NEW YORK, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. (NYSE: MRV) set net revenue and profitability records for both the three and nine month periods ended Sept. 30, 1993. Net revenues and profitability increases are due to the growing strength of the company's expanding entertainment products.
 For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993, net income grew 64.0 percent to $16.5 million or $0.16 per share on 103.0 million weighted average shares outstanding compared to $10.0 million or $0.10 per share on 98.7 million weighted average shares outstanding in the year-ago quarter. Net revenues rose 67.9 percent to $104.7 million compared to $62.3 million in the year-ago quarter.
 Results include Fleer Corp., which was acquired Sept. 1, 1992, and a 46 percent equity interest in Toy Biz, Inc., which was acquired April 30, 1993. Earnings per share have been adjusted to reflect the 2-for-1 stock split declared Sept. 17, 1993 to shareholders of record Oct. 15, 1993 for Nov. 1, 1993 distribution.
 Terry Stewart, president and chief operating officer, commented: "Top comic book titles for the third quarter included special issues of Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor and X-Force celebrating the X-Men's 30th anniversary, and the debut of the X-Men 2099 on-going series and the Daredevil: Man Without Fear limited series. Consumer products licensing was highlighted by royalties from expanded sales of X-Men and Spider-Man video games. Advertising included a national promotion with Pizza Hut starring the X-Men. Sports picture cards and confectionery products added $52.7 million in net revenues in the third quarter as a result of the continued success of Fleer Ultra sports picture cards and the introduction of the new Flair super-premium cards."
 Toy Biz, driven by the growing popularity of X-Men action figures and other toy lines such as Pretty & Me and Caboodles, contributed $2.4 million in net income during the third quarter.
 For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1993, net income grew 84.5 percent to $41.1 million or $0.40 per share on 101.8 million weighted average shares outstanding compared to $22.3 million or $0.23 per share on 98.3 million weighted average shares outstanding in the year-ago period. Net revenues rose 131.0 percent to $300.4 million compared to $130.1 million in the year-ago period.
 Net publishing revenues grew as a result of an increase in unit volume and the special merchandising of selected titles. Consumer products licensing and advertising net revenues increased because of growing royalties from expanded sales of video games and Marvel Super Hero cards, advertising promotions and a licensing agreement with Fox Children's Network to produce a 65-segment animated Spider-Man series for the 1994-1995 TV season. Sports picture card and confectionery products contributed $160.1 million in net revenues during the nine month period.
 For both the three and nine month periods, gross profit as a percentage of net revenues declined, reflecting Fleer's different cost profile, which was partially offset by increased publishing, consumer products licensing and advertising revenues. Selling, general and administrative expenses grew due to the addition of Fleer, higher advertising and other expenses and increased salaries due to additional staff. Net interest expense and amortization rose due to the acquisition of Fleer.
 Cash generated by operations was used to reduce outstanding indebtedness by $13.2 million to $250.7 million from $263.9 million at Dec. 31, 1992, and to finance the acquisition of Toy Biz.
 Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. is a leading youth entertainment company. Operations and products include: Marvel Comics, the largest comic book publisher in North America; Marvel character-based consumer products licensing; Fleer, a leading marketer of sports picture cards; Dubble Bubble confectionery products; and Toy Biz, a marketer and distributor of toys.
 Consolidated Statements of Income
 (Unaudited, in thousands, except per share data)
 Periods Ended Three Months Nine Months
 Sept. 30, 1993 1992(B) 1993 1992(B)
 Net revenues $104,680 $62,337 $300,417 $130,051
 Cost of sales 54,599 29,994 152,323 61,287
 Gross profit 50,081 32,343 148,094 68,764
 Selling, general &
 expenses 19,260 11,803 61,130 25,367
 Interest expense, net 3,460 1,831 11,676 2,236
 Amortization of goodwill,
 intangibles & deferred
 charges 2,496 1,146 7,464 2,154
 Income before provision
 for income taxes and
 equity in net income
 of Toy Biz 24,865 17,563 67,824 39,007
 Provision for income
 taxes 10,742 7,515 30,180 16,756
 Income before equity in
 net income of Toy Biz 14,123 10,048 37,644 22,251
 Equity in net income
 of Toy Biz 2,358 -- 3,417 --
 Net income $16,481 $10,048 $41,061 $22,251
 Earnings Per Share $0.16 $0.10 $0.40 $0.23
 Weighted average number of
 common and common
 equivalent shares
 outstanding(A) 102,958 98,728 101,818 98,348
 (A) Adjusted for the two-for-one stock splits in December, 1992 and September, 1993.
 (B) Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform with the current year presentation.
 -0- 10/18/93
 /CONTACT: Marvel Corporate & Product Public Relations: Pam Rutt of Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc., 212-576-8535; Marvel Investor & Financial Relations: Gary Fishman of The Hudson Stone Group, 212-983-8550/

CO: Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. ST: New York IN: ENT PUB SU: ERN

LD -- NY008 -- 3157 10/18/93 08:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 18, 1993

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