Marvel Raises Profit Outlook

The company's shares rise in early trading.
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Spider-Man and Captain America creator

Marvel Entertainment

(MVL)

raised its profit forecast and narrowed its estimated sales range for the full year.

Marvel said Monday that it expects to earn 61 cents to 64 cents a share for 2006 on sales of $330 million to $340 million. Previously, the company projected earnings of 50 cents to 60 cents and a top line of $320 million to $350 million.

On average, analysts are looking for a profit of 59 cents and sales of $337.2 million.

For 2007, Marvel is anticipating earnings of $1.35 to $1.55 a share and sales of $375 million to $435 million. The consensus estimates are for earnings of $1.22 and sales of $459.4 million, according to Thomson Financial.

The outlook came as the company posted sales of $92.2 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, up from $81.1 million in the year-ago period. Earnings fell to $13.2 million, or 16 cents a share, from last year's $23.4 million and 23 cents a share.

The results in the latest quarter were much stronger than the 12-cent profit and revenue of $85.5 million analysts had been expecting.

Shares of Marvel were rising 8.6% to $27.20 in premarket trading.