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From: JakeStraw4/8/2014 4:22:34 PM
   of 340
 
Why Zynga looks well positioned

Early in February, Zynga's stock price surged after a UBS analyst increased his rating on the stock, following the company's decision to purchase NaturalMotion.

Moreover, after CEO Don Mattrick announced the launch of pilot programs for Zynga's real-money poker game across various parts of the world by the end of this year, shares received another boost. As Zynga makes investments to grow and sustain its franchises, the stock should see solid growth in the future.

Driven by the company's strategic investments, Words With Friends and its Casino franchise are yielding impressive results. For example, in the previous quarter, bookings for Words With Friends grew 33% sequentially, which was the biggest in the game's five-year history. On the other hand, the Casino franchise achieved sequential booking growth for the first time in the last 18 months, indicating the fact that Zynga is indeed making the right moves.

Zynga has also introduced a new mobile slots game, and the company will continue to push more games on the mobile platform. Management expects 2014 to be a landmark year for its mobile growth, with new additions such as FarmVille, which it plans to introduce in the second quarter. With a rich history of more than 400 million people having played FarmVille on Facebook, Zynga is eager to take this success onto the mobile platform.

Zynga is also very confident about the racing game genre on mobiles. NaturalMotion has pioneered the racing experience on mobile devices with games such as CSR Racing and Clumsy Ninja.

CSR is among the top racing games on mobile in more than 20 countries. On the other hand, Clumsy Ninja achieved 10 million downloads in the first week of its launch and became the number one free game in the Apple App store.

Hence, the acquisition of NaturalMotion will help Zynga accelerate its growth in mobile gaming. Acquiring NaturalMotion will benefit Zynga in three ways. First, it will help it expand its creative pipeline; second, it will boost its growth in mobile, and third, it will bring next-generation technology and tools to Zynga.

Consequently, around 75% of all the games under development at Zynga can also be played on mobile. It anticipates its mobile bookings to surpass its web bookings going forward, and account for more than 50% of its bookings base.

fool.com

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To: The Ox who wrote (315)4/23/2014 4:26:49 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
1 Recommendation   of 340
 
I am not inclined to criticize a company for taking advantage of an open window to tap the public markets, even of it means a few bumpy quarters while they get their act in order. If they don't take advantage of the opportunity, they may never get another chance. GRPN timed their IPO perfectly. They needed the cash and the window was open. The cash has given them an opportunity to revamp their business model. Livingsocial was not so lucky. The KING IPO was not a disaster. They raised their cash at a reasonable valuation and now have an opportunity to show the world that they have a Second Act, or not.

IPO window slamming shut on tech and biotech

By Aaron Pressman
The Exchange
April 12, 2014

So much for the busiest week for IPOs since 2007 … because it looks like Thursday’s market swoon has derailed much of the new issues market.

Seven companies were scheduled to go public after the close yesterday but it looks like only three actually made it: Mediterranean restaurant chain Zoe’s Kitchen ( ZOES), energy infrastructure operator Enable Midstream Partners ( ENBL) and livestock drug maker Phibro Animal Health ( PAHC).

That’s not surprising after the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index plunged 3%, its worst single day decline since November 30, 2011. Recent IPOs and other fast-growing, unprofitable companies were among the hardest hit. Network security specialist FireEye ( FEYE) dropped 12%, streaming music service Pandora ( P) fell 10% and cloud HR provider Workday ( WDAY) lost 9%.

So as for the tech and biotech IPO candidates planning to price last night? Crickets. There is no pricing information for HR cloud services provider Paycom Software, early-stage biotechs Scynexis and Aldeyra Therapeutics or real estate investment trust City Office REIT. The web site IPO Boutique reported Scynexis and City Office would try to price next week.

Underwriters did complete one deal postponed from Wednesday, Farmland Partners ( FPI), but at a reduced size and at the low end of its expected price range.

And none of the four deals priced Thursday night were well-known companies. The real IPO test comes next week, when Weibo — the Twitter of China — and Sabre, owner of the Travelocity website, are planning to raise big bucks.

If the market continues to drop, especially for technology and Internet companies, there’s little chance those deals will price. But if things recover quickly, the IPO window could open right back up.

We’ll update you as more information becomes available.

finance.yahoo.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (318)4/23/2014 4:31:41 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
1 Recommendation   of 340
 
The press release: finance.yahoo.com

Zynga Misses in First Quarter, But Touts New Leadership and Mobile Growth

By Eric Johnson
Re/code
April 23, 2014, 1:09 PM PDT

Still in the middle of its social to mobile transition, Zynga fell short of the street consensus on earnings per share in Q1, with a loss of seven cents vs. an expected one-cent loss, dragged down by higher than expected restructuring costs.

Analysts initially expected the restructuring costs to hit in the second quarter, but the company pulled them forward, totaling $29 million in the first quarter of 2014. However, the company reported better-than-expected bookings of $161 million, beating analyst expectations of $146.5 million. Total revenue fell 36 percent year-over-year to $168 million.

Zynga shares are trading up 4 percent after hours, at 4.61 per share as of the time of this writing.

The gaming company also announced the completion of a leadership shuffle that began with the appointment of former Xbox executive Don Mattrick as CEO last year. Former CEO Mark Pincus, who had been serving as Chief Product Officer under Mattrick, has stepped down from that role but will remain chairman of Zynga’s board.

Alex Garden, currently the general manager of Xbox Music, Video and Reading at Microsoft, will become the first President of Zynga Studios, a new role reporting to Mattrick, on May 5. Garden will oversee all games developed at Zynga except NaturalMotion’s titles, which will remain under that company’s CEO Torsten Reil.

Reporting to Garden will be another new hire, Chief Visual Officer Henry LaBounta, who started two weeks ago. LaBounta previously worked with Mattrick on the Need for Speed franchise at EA, and has experience in CGI, movies and television by way of a six-year stint at DreamWorks.

In its last new hire, Jennifer Nuckles, Zynga is also getting a Chief Marketing Officer for the first time since the resignation of former CMO Jeff Karp in 2012. Nuckles started last week and will oversee attempts to go beyond Zynga’s current marketing initiatives, banner and interstitial app ads.

Following January’s acquisition of Natural Motion for $527 million, the company’s monthly mobile audience grew 45 percent, but even excluding Natural Motion’s hit games like CSR Racing and Clumsy Ninja, mobile users were up 11 percent quarter over quarter. At GDC last month, Mattrick said the company’s mobile turnaround is halfway there, and it’s likely that transition will be the central focus of the company’s call with investors at 2:00 Pacific Time.

recode.net

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From: Glenn Petersen4/28/2014 8:45:22 AM
   of 340
 
Rovio Profit Falls by More Than Half

Maker of Angry Birds Game Trying to Adjust Business Model


By Juhana Rossi and Sven Grundberg
Wall Street Journal
Updated April 28, 2014 7:17 a.m. ET



ESPOO, Finland—The maker of the Angry Birds mobile game, racing to adapt to changing gaming trends and diversify a business built on a wildly popular smartphone app, said profit more than halved in 2013 while revenue was essentially flat at €156 million euros ($216 million).

Finland-based Rovio Entertainment Ltd. poured heavy investment in a new racing game called Angry Birds GO! in 2013, which the company labeled "a foundation-building year."

GO!, however, failed to make a large impact amid stiff competition from a raft of other Nordic gaming entrants—including Supercell Oy, which makes Hay Day and Clash of Clans, Minecraft maker Mojang AB, and King Digital Entertainment PLC, which makes Candy Crush Saga and recently went public.

Until last year, Rovio's flagship Angry Birds games generated revenue through download fees. However, nearly all the top-performing titles in the industry today are so-called free-to-play, or freemium games, meaning they cost nothing to download and revenue is generated through in-game purchases. As a result, Rovio has been adjusting its model and that is a slow process.

"To be honest, the free-to-play transition has taken longer than we anticipated," Rovio Chief Executive Mikael Hed said in an interview. He said the roughly flat revenue curve was largely attributable to the transition.

The company posted a net profit of €26.9 million ($37.2 million), compared with €55.5 million in 2012. Revenue in 2013 was up slightly from €152.2 million in the year prior. Operating profit, meanwhile, fell to €36.5 million from €76.8 million.

Rovio is closely held.

Mobile gaming rivals such as Japan's GungHo Online Entertainment, King and Supercell all saw explosive growth last year. King, for instance, saw a more than tenfold revenue increase in 2013, as sales skyrocketed to $1.88 billion from $164 million in 2012, largely on the back of its "Candy Crush Saga" megahit. Meanwhile, Supercell, with its "Clash of Clans" and "Hay Day" games, saw revenue soaring to $892 million last year, up from $101 million in 2012.

Rovio also makes money through licensing its Angry Birds brand and producing animated film clips. Its workforce grew to more than 800 people in 2013, up from about 500 at the end of 2012.

Corrections & Amplifications
An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of Rovio Chief Executive Mikael Hed as Michael Hed.

Write to Juhana Rossi at juhana.rossi@wsj.com and Sven Grundberg at sven.grundberg@wsj.com

online.wsj.com

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From: Suma5/9/2014 3:37:13 PM
   of 340
 
I have lost more money on this damnable stock.Every day it is down.I am down so much now I cannot afford to let it go and every day it drops more.

Glenn are you still holding or have you given up as I almost have.

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To: Suma who wrote (321)5/14/2014 4:58:47 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 340
 
Suma,

I don't currently own ZNGA and I am at a loss as to what to tell you. They need a fresh hit. On the positive side, they are sitting on a fair amount of cash and have done a reasonably good job of managing their contraction.

Glenn

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From: Glenn Petersen8/7/2014 4:16:10 PM
   of 340
 
Another disappointing quarter from ZNGA.

The press release: finance.yahoo.com

Zynga Misses on Revenue, Lowers Full-Year Guidance

By Eric Johnson
Re/code
August 7, 2014, 1:05 PM PDT

Zynga is trying to reinvent itself on mobile — but that reinvention will take some more time, the company said today in its Q2 earnings report.

The San Francisco-based gaming company reported bookings of $175 million in the quarter that ended in June, below analyst expectations of $191 million. It also lowered its full-year guidance by $85 million, and is now forecasting full-year bookings to come in between $695 and $725 million.

For the first time, mobile revenue surpassed the revenue from Web games on Facebook and Zynga.com. Monthly active users on mobile were up 34 percent year-over-year, likely connected to the launch of Farmville 2: Country Escape on mobile.

The first mobile iteration in the Farmville series has consistently been a top-20 grossing app on the U.S. iPad store since shortly after launch, according to App Annie. However, it has yet to overtake its main rival, Supercell’s Hay Day, which seems entrenched in the top 10.

Games that had been planned for release in the spring and summer — including retooled mobile-first versions of Zynga Poker and Words With Friends — will be delayed to late 2014 or into 2015. Meanwhile, Zynga also announced new partnerships with the NFL and Warner Bros. to make a football game with officially licensed player likenesses and an endless runner game, in the style of Stampede Run, starring Looney Tunes characters.

Development of the NFL game is being headed in Zynga’s Orlando, Fla., studio by Mike Taramykin, an eight-year EA Sports veteran who worked bringing on the lucrative Madden franchise to Facebook. At EA, Taramykin also oversaw the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise, which dropped Woods as its mascot in late 2013; perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Zynga has also inked a multiyear exclusivity deal with Woods to make him the face of a new golf game, also in development in Orlando.

recode.net

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From: Glenn Petersen11/7/2014 11:08:06 AM
   of 340
 
Zynga sees net loss widen but reaffirms 2014 outlook

Mike Snider
, USA TODAY
7:38 p.m. EST November 6, 2014

Social games company Zynga said on Thursday that its third-quarter net loss widened to $57.1 million in the third quarter as gaming revenue declined.

Shares of Zynga rose more than 6% in after-hours trading Thursday (to $2.50) after the company reaffirmed its earnings outlook for the year.

Adjusted loss per share amounted to 1 cent, matching analysts' estimates.

Its net loss totaled $57.1 million, compared to $68,000 of loss a year ago. The company's revenue fell 12 % to $176.6 million, above forecasts expected by analysts of $171.7 million in the third quarter.


Zynga expects fourth-quarter revenue of $170 million-to-$200 million, in line with expectations of $199 million, and reiterated its 2014 forecast of $695 million-to-$725 million.

"Our teams have been working hard over the last year to reshape our business and we are seeing that work show up in two important areas – our franchise bookings and mobile bookings growth," said CEO Don Mattrick in a statement accompanying the earnings release. "Last quarter, our core franchises – Casino, Words With Friends and FarmVille – grew 30% year over year in terms of bookings, and we achieved meaningful growth in mobile with a 111% increase in mobile bookings annually."

The game maker has struggled to find new hits to match the success of games such as FarmVille, Zynga Poker and Words With Friends in recent years. Zynga has the potential to increase revenue, says Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson, who lowered its estimated 2015 growth from 25% to 17% in a note released earlier this week.

Zynga's NFL Showdown and revamped Zynga Poker "have not fared well thus far," he said. But a new version of Words With Friends launched last month and on the way is a Tiger Woods golf game, a Looney Tunes "runner" title and new games developed with acquired developer NaturalMotion (CSR Racing, Clumsy Ninja). "We expect most on the Street will take a wait-and-see approach to the ability of these games to reach top 20 rankings," he said.

usatoday.com

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From: Glenn Petersen2/12/2015 5:26:14 PM
   of 340
 
ZNGA disappoints.

The press release: finance.yahoo.com

Zynga (ZNGA) Stock Plummets in After-Hours Trading Today on Revenue Miss, Lower Guidance

BY Sebastian Silva
TheStreet.com
02/12/15 - 04:38 PM EST

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Zynga ( ZNGA - Get Report) are plummeting in after-hours trading today, down 11.65% to $2.35, after the company reported fourth quarter revenue that missed analysts' estimates, and guidance that was below expectations.

For the fourth quarter, the San Francisco-based social games company broke even on earnings and reported revenue of $193 million. Analysts polled by Reuters expected the company to break even on earnings and report revenue of $201.11 million.

For the full year, the company met expectations of a net loss of 1 cent per share, while revenue of $690 million missed full year estimates of $711.93 million.

Guidance for the 2015 first quarter was lower than expected. Zynga now expects a net loss of 3 cents to 2 cents per share and revenue in the range of $155 million to $165 million. Reuters estimates were looking for the company to break even again on earnings and have revenue of $200.87 million. Zynga also announced the closure of its Zynga China studio, which will affect all 71 employees in the Beijing-based studio and result in an annualized cost savings of $7 million. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ZYNGA INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate ZYNGA INC (ZNGA) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity."



thestreet.com

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From: Glenn Petersen3/27/2015 12:40:41 AM
1 Recommendation   of 340
 
Zynga must face U.S. lawsuit alleging fraud tied to IPO

By Jonathan Stempel
Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:37pm EDT



The Zynga headquarters is pictured in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014. The social games services provider is scheduled to report first quarter earnings.
Reuters/Robert Galbraith
_______________

Reuters) - Zynga Inc must face a lawsuit that accuses the gaming company known for its "FarmVille" game of defrauding shareholders about its prospects before and after its December 2011 initial public offering.

Ruling 13 months after dismissing an earlier version of the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco said on Wednesday that shareholders could pursue claims that Zynga concealed declining user activity, masked how changes in a Facebook Inc platform for its games would affect demand and inflated its 2012 revenue forecast.

Zynga's market value slid by several billion dollars between March 2, 2012, when its share price peaked at $15.91, and July 26, 2012, when the price dropped below $3 after the company posted disappointing earnings and cut its outlook.

The lawsuit was based in part on at least a half-dozen confidential witnesses, and White said their testimony supported the claim that Zynga management intended to commit fraud.

"Plaintiff alleges that the officers at Zynga obsessively tracked bookings and game-operating metrics on an ongoing, real-time basis with regular updates on the activity and purchases by every user of every Zynga game," White wrote. "Confidential witnesses all corroborate that the updates on game users and spending data was readily accessible to Zynga's management."

White rejected a claim over Zynga's alleged product launch delays, saying it was mere "business puffery" for the company to call its game pipeline "strong," "robust" and "very healthy."

Shareholders led by David Fee also claimed that Zynga hid its weaknesses to enable insiders to sell $593 million of stock before a post-IPO lockup was to expire, and avoid a roughly 75 percent drop in its share price over the next four months.

Zynga had priced its IPO at $10 per share on Dec. 15, 2011.

Kelly Pakula Kunz, a Zynga spokeswoman, on Thursday said the San Francisco-based company had no comment on White's decision.

Nicole Lavallee, a partner at Berman DeValerio representing shareholders, said she was gratified by the decision.

Zynga's share price has been below $5 for more than a year owing to a failure to develop games as popular as "FarmVille," as well as the rise of mobile gaming rivals such as Dublin-based King Digital Entertainment Plc, maker of "Candy Crush Saga."

Zynga shares were down 1.44 percent at $2.73 in afternoon trading on Nasdaq.

The case is In re: Zynga Inc Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 12-04007.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York, editing by G Crosse)

reuters.com

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