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Marvel, still the “best idea I’ve ever seen”

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A few of you might remember when a Motley Fool article got turned into a naked teaser for one of their newsletters (usually the articles have more to them than that). It was by Tim Beyers, who I like and who has written some great stuff over the years, but it was essentially just an ad.

They republished it over the weekend — and the idea is still the same. The teaser is still for the “best stock idea I’ve ever seen” … here’s an excerpt:

“One of my holdings accounts for 20% of my portfolio. It’s the best stock idea I’ve ever seen:

Free cash flow exceeded $100 million over the trailing 12 months. Return on invested capital is nearing 40%. Operating margins are expanding dramatically and net margin is up more than 25%.”

This is still a tease for Marvel (MVL — the comic book publisher and movie studio, not the semiconductor chip company). I wrote about this a while back at, and I still own shares (and call options) of Marvel, too. It is not the largest position in my portfolio, but it is certainly in the top ten … and I could see myself buying more this year, especially if the new Hulk movie is a disappointment next month and the share price dips as a result (the shares almost always move before and after opening weekends of their movies). Iron man was an incredible blockbuster, far exceeding expectations, and that is going to do huge things for them in the years ahead as they build their slate of self-produced films.

Next year, however, might have some downside, or at least some ennui — the company will be largely ignored for much of the year, thanks to the fact that the writer’s strike delayed their next set of films and they won’t be releasing any self-produced films in 2009.

The original article is here, if you’re interested. The updated Fool article is here.

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