Tue, Mar. 10, 2:49 PM
- The push to legalize sports betting has a "tidal wave" of momentum behind it, according to some legal and gaming experts.
- NBA commissioner Adam Silver publicly supports bringing sports betting off the black market, and other high-level sports execs say they are open to having discussions on the topic.
- If legalized sports betting were to take off, companies with an edge on the technology front could carve up market share.
- U.K. firm William Hill (OTC:WIMHF, OTCPK:WIMHY) now brings in 40% of its handle via mobile apps.
- Though major casino operators such as Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN), Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR), and MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) face some risk of reduced Las Vegas traffic, they also have a branding advantage with potential bettors which can be leveraged.
- Scientific Games (NASDAQ:SGMS) and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) appear poised to jump on the sports gambling scene as soon as legalities clear.
- Even Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is on the periphery of sports betting through Comcast Ventures' property FanDuel.com.
Fri, Mar. 6, 4:52 PM
- Though the Nasdaq closed down 1.1%, Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) rallied strongly on volume of 25.6M shares, well above a 3-month daily average of 15.3M.
- The gains come a day after the social/mobile game developer previewed (with the help of a trailer video) Dawn of Titans, an action strategy game created by its NaturalMotion unit, whose titles have a reputation for featuring high-quality graphics and advanced physics.
- Zynga: "Our team has designed every element of Dawn of Titans ... to push the edge and create an entertainment experience that we believe supersedes anything found today in the Action Strategy category ... Powering Dawn of Titans is NaturalMotion’s mobile technology and toolset that creates unprecedented visuals, animation and depth-of-gameplay. Echo, Dawn of Titans proprietary engine, enables the game to feature thousands of units on-screen to achieve epic battles and run smoothly on mobile devices."
- The game will enter a location-specific (geo-lock) beta "in the coming weeks," before launching worldwide later in 2015. It's part of Zynga's plans to significantly grow its mobile lineup in 2015, and in doing so offset ongoing Facebook bookings declines.
- Friday short-covering may have helped Zynga's cause: 68.9M shares (10% of the float) were shorted as of Feb. 13.
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.
ZNGA vs. ETF Alternatives
Zynga Inc provides social game services. The Company develops, markets and operates social gamesas live services played on mobile platforms such as iOS and Android and social networking sites such as Facebook.
Other News & PR