Fri, Feb. 13, 12:45 PM
Fri, Feb. 13, 9:15 AM| 3 Comments
Fri, Feb. 13, 8:59 AM
- A new research report from BTIG Reseach makes the case that it's time for Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) to look for a new CEO.
- The research firm has been a long time skeptic of Zynga's management and reasons a dramatic change is needed to turn around the social games seller.
- Previously: Zynga -10.2%; mobile push planned as bookings, MAUs pressured (Feb. 12 2015)
- ZNGA -12.41% premarket to $2.33.
Thu, Feb. 12, 5:36 PM
Thu, Feb. 12, 4:52 PM
- "We will deliver a 100 percent mobile-first new product slate featuring new games, with a goal of ending 2015 with more than 75% of our fourth quarter bookings coming from mobile," says CEO Don Mattrick in Zynga's (NASDAQ:ZNGA) Q4 report. Mobile made up 60% of bookings in Q3, up from 55% in Q3 and 37% a year ago.
- As part of its mobile push, Zynga plans to launch action strategy titles Dawn of Titans and Empires & Allies; NaturalMotion is developing the former. Zynga also plans to launch FarmVille: Harvest Swap, a match-3 game for the core franchise.
- No explanation is given in Zynga's earnings release for the Q4 bookings shortfall or its light guidance. Though bookings rose thanks in part to the NaturalMotion acquisition, monthly active users fell to 108M from 112M in both Q3 and Q4 2013. Monthly unique payers fell to 1.1M from 1.3M in Q3 and Q4 2013.
- Zynga has confirmed its Beijing studio closing, and says the move will save it $7M/year. GAAP costs/expenses (boosted by NaturalMotion) rose 18% Y/Y in Q4 to $241.5M, with R&D totaling $105.1M. The cash/investment balance is at $1.1B.
- Shares are down to $2.39 AH.
- Zynga's Q4 results/guidance, PR
Thu, Feb. 12, 4:07 PM| 13 Comments
Thu, Feb. 12, 12:40 PM
- Ahead of today's Q4 report, Zynga (ZNGA) states it's shuttering its Beijing office and cutting 71 jobs (~4% of its workforce). The office's launches of a Chinese version of FarmVille (rebranded as FarmVillage) failed to meet expectations in an intensely competitive Chinese gaming market.
- Zynga has already carried out a string of major job cuts over the last two years amid slumping bookings and active user counts for its core franchises. The company has also begun relying more on 3rd-party IP from the likes of Warner Bros. and the NFL.
- After rallying over the last week, shares have reversed coursed today. They've traded in a fairly narrow range since Zynga's Nov. 6 Q3 bookings beat.
Wed, Feb. 11, 5:35 PM
Dec. 22, 2014, 1:07 PM
- Zynga (ZNGA +3.7%) is up 17% since officially launching Looney Tunes Dash on Thursday morning.
- The game has risen to #7 on App Annie's U.S. iPhone free download rankings (#2 among games), and is at #28 on its U.S. Google Play free download rankings. Its Google Play rating remains at 4.1/5 stars (60,993 reviews).
- Previous: Looney Tunes Dash sees strong early reception
Dec. 19, 2014, 11:17 AM| 4 Comments
Dec. 18, 2014, 5:06 PM
- Looney Tunes Dash, the fruits of a multi-year partnership with Warner Bros. that was announced in August, has been launched by Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) on the App Store and Google Play.
- The infinite runner game lets users run as Bugs Bunny, Road Runner (naturally), and other well-known Looney Tunes characters. 16 languages and 90 levels are currently supported.
- Zynga has also launched a beta test for Empires & Allies, a mobile military strategy game. The title, which is aimed at a different kind of gamer than the ones that make up much of Zynga's core casual gaming base, is expected to see a full launch in early 2015.
- With its core franchises still under pressure from competition and declining PC/Facebook gaming activity - MAUs fell 16% Y/Y in Q3, in spite of a boost from the NautralMotion acquisition - Zynga has been prepping a flurry of mobile game launches. A Tiger Woods golf game is on tap, as are new NaturalMotion titles.
- Mobile accounted for 55% of Zynga's Q3 bookings. New Words With Friends has seen a decent reception since launching in October. NFL Showdown hasn't fared as well since its September launch.
Dec. 16, 2014, 3:59 PM
- Internet stocks have posted substantial losses after a morning market rally proved short-lived. The Nasdaq is down 1.2%.
- In addition to Google, which has made new 52-week lows, Facebook (FB -3%), Twitter (TWTR -4.7%), Amazon (AMZN -3.5%), and Netflix (NFLX -3.2%) are among the underperforming names. Other decliners: Z -5.5%. TRLA -5.4%. MELI -5.4%. ZNGA -4.9%. ZU -3.2%. ANGI -3.4%.
- The selloff comes even though Goldman upgraded its rating for the sector to Attractive from Neutral today. The firm noted Internet stocks are collectively down 16% over the last 12 months (maybe 18%-19% after today), and that forward EV/EBITDA multiples have contracted significantly.
- Internet/social media ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
Nov. 11, 2014, 9:17 AM
Nov. 11, 2014, 8:02 AM
- Arguing the company's mobile growth is now offsetting PC/Facebook gaming weakness, Jefferies' Brian Pitz has upgraded Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) to Buy, and set a $4.50 target.
- Pitz calls New Words With Friends (launched in October) a "legitimate hit" - App Annie ranks it #6 on its U.S. iPhone app download chart - and expects the game (monetized via ads) to "benefit from strong seasonal trends around holiday ad prices, and strong demand for video ads."
- He also likes Zynga's 2015 mobile game pipeline, which includes Tiger Woods Golf and new titles from NaturalMotion.
- Needham upgraded Zynga on Friday following its Q3 bookings beat. The company's mobile bookings (lifted by NaturalMotion) rose 111% Y/Y in Q3, and made up 55% of total bookings.
Nov. 7, 2014, 12:52 PM
- Though some of Zynga's (NASDAQ:ZNGA) Q3 metrics were lower than Needham expected, analyst Sean McGowan thinks the strength in Zynga's bookings per paying user (in spite of a delayed Zynga Poker refresh) is "encouraging enough to signal the turnaround will gain momentum."
- McGowan has upgraded shares to Buy, and set a $3.25 target. He's only slightly increasing his 2014 and 2015 estimates, but thinks "2016 could be considerably better than our prior estimate."
- Zynga's average bookings per daily active user (paying or otherwise) rose 8% Q/Q and 34% Y/Y in Q3 to $0.055. On the other hand, DAUs fell 9% Q/Q and 13% Y/Y to 26M, and MAUs 14% Q/Q and 16% Y/Y to 112M. Monthly unique payers fell 19% Q/Q and 19% Y/Y to 1.3M.
- Taking stock of the numbers, Sterne Agee's Arvind Bhatia (Neutral) argues Zynga is still a "show-me" story, given game delays and "the resultant pressure on traffic, bookings and margins." But he thinks growth could resume in 2015 as new games launch, and notes the company's $1.1B cash balance offers downside protection.
- While PC (Facebook) bookings came under pressure, Zynga's mobile bookings rose 10% Q/Q and 111% Y/Y in Q3, and made up 55% of total bookings; Y/Y mobile growth was boosted by the NaturalMotion deal. Zynga also states the FarmVille, Casino, and Words With Friends franchises collectively saw 30% Y/Y bookings growth.
- Results/guidance, PR
Nov. 7, 2014, 9:14 AM
- Gainers: MITK +29%. RMTI +27%. RPRX +24%. SHLD +22%. CNET +15%. NETE +11%. PGNX +10%. ZNGA +9%. APT +9%. KING +9%. KING +9%. KGC +8%. TKMR +7%. AGIO +7%. BEBE +5%.
- Losers: SLXP -35%. MDRX -20%. CTIC -19%. ICPT -19%. UBNT -17%. ANF -13%. ANET -11%. ORBC -10%. AVNR -7%. FSLR -7%. PLNR -6%. NDLS -6%. RIG -5%. DVA -5%. NADL -5%.
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