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   Technology StocksZynga, Inc.

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From: Glenn Petersen4/28/2014 8:45:22 AM
   of 364
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 and Sven Grundberg at

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From: Suma5/9/2014 3:37:13 PM
   of 364
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 364

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.


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From: Glenn Petersen8/7/2014 4:16:10 PM
   of 364
Another disappointing quarter from ZNGA.

The press release:

Zynga Misses on Revenue, Lowers Full-Year Guidance

By Eric Johnson
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 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.

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From: Glenn Petersen11/7/2014 11:08:06 AM
   of 364
Zynga sees net loss widen but reaffirms 2014 outlook

Mike Snider
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.

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From: Glenn Petersen2/12/2015 5:26:14 PM
   of 364
ZNGA disappoints.

The press release:

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

BY Sebastian Silva
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."

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From: Glenn Petersen3/27/2015 12:40:41 AM
1 Recommendation   of 364
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)

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (326)3/27/2015 9:26:38 AM
From: The Ox
   of 364
What company going into an IPO doesn't talk up the positives?

I guess if they are truly seeing weakness across the board and fail to share this with their investors, then that's a big black eye.

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To: The Ox who wrote (327)4/8/2015 5:44:59 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
1 Recommendation   of 364
Unless it is the SEC of the DOJ, it is hard for me to get too agitated about the retrospective claims of the ambulance chasers.

ZYNA is down 10% in after hours trading on the news that Mark Pincus is returning as CEO:

Mark Pincus, Zynga’s Founder, Returns as C.E.O.

New York Times
APRIL 8, 2015

Mark Pincus at the media and technology conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2013. Credit Andrew Gombert/European Pressphoto Agency

When Mark Pincus hired a new executive to run Zynga, the online games company he founded, he tweeted a message calling the executive, Don Mattrick, an “Internet treasure.”

Now, less than two years later, Zynga’s Internet treasure has left the company, and Mr. Pincus has returned as chief executive.

The departure of Mr. Mattrick as chief executive was not altogether surprising to many in the industry, since a long-running turnaround plan that he set in motion at Zynga had yet to take flight. The return of Mr. Pincus to the top job, though, was unexpected since he had seemed to have largely disengaged from the business of running Zynga, best known for early Facebook games like Zynga Poker and FarmVille.

The abrupt change in leadership was another setback for a company that was once poised to be a leader in a new era of games and the Internet. Other Internet darlings of the same era, such as Groupon, have also faded after their growth fizzled and profits proved elusive

The changes were effective immediately, the company said. In a statement, Mr. Mattrick said he would return to Canada, where is he from.

“I believe the timing is now right for me to leave as C.E.O. and let Mark lead the company into its next chapter, given his passion for the founding vision and his ability to couple our mobile progress with Zynga’s unique strengths,” Mr. Mattrick said.

In an interview, Mr. Pincus said that the company did not fire Mr. Mattrick, but that the two agreed it was time for Mr. Pincus to return to the chief executive job.

“Don and I share a deep commitment to this company achieving its potential,” Mr. Pincus said, and added that he would continue to receive guidance and coaching from Mr. Mattrick.

Founded in 2007, Zynga, based in San Francisco, was among the first companies to bring free-to-play games to a mass audience in the United States. That approach to the business, pioneered by companies in Asia, opened games up to huge new online audiences, a small portion of whom spent money on virtual currency and other goods that enhanced their game experiences.

For a time, Zynga’s growth sent tremors throughout the games business, as it siphoned talent from established companies like Electronic Arts.

Quickly though, Zynga found itself disrupted by technology changes. It initially found success by publishing its games on Facebook, as the social network was taking off. But with the advent of the iPhone in 2007 and other smartphones, momentum in the business quickly shifted to mobile games.

While Facebook, too, struggled at first with the rise of mobile, it eventually adapted to the changes and now has thriving business from smartphones. Zynga has not made the leap as effectively.

Word of Mr. Pincus’s return was puzzling to some and suggested that the transition was sudden. Mr. Pincus has not been a visible presence in Zynga’s offices over the past year, though he occasionally emailed staff with his thoughts about Zynga games, according to one Zynga employee, who asked for anonymity because the company’s internal communications are confidential.

While he had left daily operations, Mr. Pincus still wielded tremendous influence over the company through a share structure that gave him 63 percent of the voting power of its outstanding capital stock, as of the end of last year.

Mr. Mattrick, a longtime Electronic Arts executive who later ran Microsoft’s Xbox business, reoriented the company toward mobile and reduced its reliance on Facebook. Still, 51 percent of the company’s revenue last year came from Facebook games, according to company filings.

Games are a hit-driven business, and Zynga titles in recent years were never able to capture the cachet of games from mobile-centered companies, like Candy Crush Saga from and Clash of Clans by Supercell.

The company’s finances continued to worsen under Mr. Mattrick. Revenue last year was $690 million, down from $1.28 billion in 2012, the year before Mr. Mattrick took over. The company’s net loss rose to $226 million last year from $209 million in 2012.

As growth slowed at Zynga, and the tech job market around it in San Francisco boomed, the company has struggled to hold onto talent. At the end of last year, about 42 percent of the company had been with Zynga for less than a year and 55 percent for less than two years. “We have experienced significant turnover in our head count over the last year, which has placed and will continue to place significant demands on our management and our operational, financial and technological infrastructure,” the company said in a filing.

Last year, the company botched the introduction of a new Zynga Poker game for mobile. Use and revenue declined from the previous game, which Zynga was then forced to bring back.

Investors have lost interest in the company. Its stock is almost unchanged since the day before Mr. Mattrick joined.

In February, Richard Greenfield, a media and Internet analyst at BTIG Research, published a report highly critical of Mr. Mattrick’s leadership, titled “Zynga Needs a New Leader — Time for Don Mattrick to Go.”

With Mr. Pincus’s return, the company is likely to reinstate his data-driven approach to creating games, focusing on metrics about how and why people are playing Zynga’s games, and using that information to tweak production.

That is in sharp contrast to the approach of Mr. Mattrick, who has typically been less focused on analytics and has championed game quality over all.

“We need to get back to being the leader in mobile data and analytics, which leads to the best product management in our games,” Mr. Pincus said. “I think I bring a DNA and passion, in that respect.”

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (328)4/8/2015 5:57:11 PM
From: The Ox
1 Recommendation   of 364
Many moons ago, in the early 80s, I was involved with a custom software company that wrote code for anything from a Wang to a IBM PC and many other systems in between. We were all young and full of beans, as the saying goes, so we hired a guy (literally) from IBM to come in and "take us to the next level".

HUGE mistake. Basically, this guy was worthless to a young startup company. He cost us salary, time and other intangibles that became an albatross around the neck of this vibrant young entity. In essence, trying to "do the right thing" by bringing in what we thought was "high end talent", this guy did nothing to aid in our advancement. He actually helped drive the company into the ground.

I was fortunate to be the main programmer, so I was able to walk away with all my clients after the company folded. I did very well as a consultant going forward but we were on the ground floor of the IBM/MSFT pc revolution and we were writing code for small business systems. That area absolutely exploded over the next few years. I was fortunate to reap a great benefit but it's always an afterthought about what could have been had this clown been more in tuned to what this small, flourishing company needed to help it grow!!!

There are way too many stories like this one....

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