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Marvel revs don’t fly without Spidey

Toy, apparel sales drop; hit 'Four' fails to move product

With second-quarter revenue down nearly 50% and net income off 11% from last year’s “Spider-Man 2”-fueled performance, Marvel stock took a beating Thursday.

Company reported disappointing earnings down primarily due to the virtual disappearance of Marvel’s toy business, which declined 96% from $84 million a year ago to just $3.7 million last quarter. Comicbook publisher also saw a 61% fall in apparel licensing revs to $7.9 million.

Execs said last year’s figures were driven by awareness of “Spider-Man 2” prior to its June 30 opening. This summer’s hit “Fantastic Four” didn’t generate the kind of pre-release buzz that drives product sales.

Film and game licensing revenue was up 54% to $16.5 million while comicbook publishing revs were down 4% at $20.8 million.

Marvel reported total net sales of $88.1 million for the second quarter and net income of $25.7 million.

Execs said they’re expecting more revenue from Hollywood next quarter as royalties from “Fantastic Four” start to come in, as well as a nonrefundable option from Sony for 2007’s “Spider-Man 3.”

Company reaffirmed its guidance for the year of $370 million-$390 million in revenue while slightly dropping expected net income to between $117 million and $126 million.

Marvel shares closed off 7% Thursday at $19.72.

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