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Zynga Still Struggling to Find its Footing

Posted on Tuesday, Apr 29th 2014

According to Digi-Capital, the total digital and video game industry is projected to be worth $100 billion by the year 2017. Of this, nearly $60 billion will consist of online and mobile game sales and the remaining $40 billion will be for gaming hardware, console software, and PC.

Zynga’s Financials
Online games maker Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA) announced their quarterly results and saw first quarter revenues fall 36% over the year to $168 million, ahead of the market’s projections of $164 million. Loss for the quarter came in at $0.01 per share, in line with Street expectations.

Zynga’s online game revenues accounted for 79% of the quarter’s revenues and fell 42.4% to $132.3 million. Advertising revenues reported a 5% increase to $35.8 million. During the quarter, bookings fell 30% to $161.4 million and average daily bookings per average daily active user grew 28% to $0.06.

Among operating metrics, daily active users fell 46% to 28 million and monthly active users fell 51% over the year to 123 million. Mobile usage continued to grow and they reported a Web daily active user base of 12 million and mobile user base of 16 million. Web monthly active users came in at 61 million while mobile monthly active users were marginally higher at 62 million. Zynga has also managed to reduce dependency on Facebook which used to source more than 90% of their gaming users earlier and now brings in less than 50%.

For the current quarter, Zynga expects revenues of $140 million-$160 million with non-GAAP earnings of $0.00-$0.01 per share. The Street was projecting a loss of $0.03 for the quarter. Zynga expects to end the year with bookings of $770 million-$810 million and non GAAP earnings of $0.01-$0.03 per share.

Zynga’s Game Upgrades
Zynga still remains highly dependent on three key games – Farmville 2, Zynga Poker, and Farmville. The three games brought in 64% of the quarter’s revenues compared with 62% a quarter ago. Zynga continues to build on these titles. During the quarter, they launched FarmVille 2: Country Escape in sixteen additional languages on both the iOS and Android platforms. The game has been received well and has received the Editor’s Choice award at the iOS store. During the quarter, Farmville 2 accounted for 30% of their online gaming revenues. They also recently released a newer version of Zynga Poker that is better suited to mobile devices. Overall, Zynga Poker brought in 24% of the quarter’s revenues.

Zynga’s Management Changes
Zynga is turning all stones to improve performance. Their founder Mark Pincus had stepped away from the position of the CEO last year and had become the company’s Chief Product Officer. But last week, Mr. Pincus gave up all operational responsibilities at Zynga. Other management changes include the appointment of ex-Microsoft lead Alex Garden as President of Zynga Studios, ex-Best Buy executive David Lee as CFO, and Oscar-nominated artist Henry LaBounta as Chief Visual Officer to help grow their gaming offerings.

Zynga’s stock is trading at $4.08 with a market capitalization of $3.47 billion. It touched a 52-week high of $5.89 earlier last month.


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