Investors are worried about how lousy of a year 2006 is shaping up to be. Revenues are expected to drop 24 percent and earnings are expected to plunge 51 percent.
However, as the company continues to generate more and more of its revenue from lucrative licensing deals and less from its low margin publishing and toy businesses, the company seems primed to bounce back sharply in 2007.
But what about 2008? At present, Spider-Man and maybe Fantastic Four are Marvel's only reliable movie franchises, especially now that X-Men 3 is being billed as the last of that series. Will shareholders be content with the profits generated by direct-to-DVD animated films? Will the live-action hits outnumber the misses? Will Peter Parker get the cash to pay Aunt May's mortgage on time?