Marvel released its second quarter financials on Thursday and reported lower earnings, down 11% vs. the year-ago period, due primarily to lower licensing and publishing sales.  The 7% drop in  licensing sales was attributed in large part to the reduction in Spider-Man 2 licensing revenues, which was only partly offset by increased Fantastic Four licensing. 


Publishing sales were down 4% for the quarter, which Marvel attributed to a later start this year for its main marketing event. 


Corporate overhead was up around $2 million for the period, due primarily to increased legal costs related to litigation. 


Second quarter earnings were $25.8 million or $.24 per share, compared to $29.1 million, or $.25 per share a year ago.  Reuters Estimates had predicted $.27 per share.  The earnings shortfall hammered the stock, which was down over 7% at the end of the day.


Marvel dropped its estimate of earnings for the full year from $120-$126 to $117-$126, while maintaining its per share earnings estimate due to the reduced number of shares outstanding; Marvel completed $250 million worth of share repurchases in the second quarter.