Zynga’s shares tumble on poor earnings, lower outlook
The takeaway: Zynga’s shares plunged as much as 10% in after-hours trading Thursday after the gaming company reported that sales fell almost 34% in the second quarter while also lowering its full-year outlook after deciding to delay introducing some of its new games. Investors were also alarmed by steep declines year-over-year in Zynga’s monthly active users (down 30%, to 130 million) and monthly unique users (down nearly 28%, to 89 million).
The company, which rose to prominence on the strength of online games like CityVille and FarmVille, also said Thursday that it plans to expand into sports-themed gaming. It unveiled partnerships with the National Football League and golfer Tiger Woods, who previously had a game licensing deal with EA. But EA dropped that last year.
Zynga CEO Don Mattrick, who took over for founder Mark Pincus last summer, said in a Zynga press release that the company aims “to do better and improve execution across our business. “We continue to make significant investments in the highest potential areas of our future pipeline,” he said
What’s interesting: Zynga stock closed Thursday up 4.6% in regular trading before tumbling in after-hours. Zynga’s share have fallen nearly 30% so far this year on continued competition from rival King Digital’s Candy Crush as well as new online gaming titles like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, from Glu Mobile.
The company is hoping it will gain users from its new Zynga Sports 365 franchise, led by new mobile game NFL Showdown, which launched today as a manager-style game where users can build their own simulated teams featuring actual professional players. Meanwhile, a golfing game featuring Tiger Woods is expected to launch sometime next year. Zynga also announced a partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to create a Looney Tunes-branded mobile game that it expects to debut later this year.
The numbers: Zynga posted a $62.5 million loss in the quarter, or 7 cents per share, compared with a loss of $15.8 million during the same quarter. Sales fell 34% to $153.2 million. Online gaming revenue dropped 36%, to $131 million, while advertising revenue fell 19%, to $22 million, compared with last year.
Zynga lowered its bookings outlook for the full-year to a range of $695 million to $725 million after previously estimating they would be $770 million to $810 million.