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Why Zynga Couldn’t Clear Its Earnings

Zynga, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) reported its second-quarter financial results after the markets closed Thursday. The video game developer had a net loss of $0.01 per share on $200 million in revenue compared to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for a net loss of $0.02 per share on $156.84 million in revenue. The same period from the previous year did not have any earnings ($0.00), but it had revenues totaling $175.1 million.

For the second quarter, average daily active users (DAU) totaled 21 million, down 23% year over year and down 15% sequentially. Average monthly active users (MAU) totaled 83 million, down 32% year over year and down 18% sequentially.

The company gave guidance for the third quarter: Zynga expects a net loss per share of $0.02 to $0.01 along with revenues in the range of $175 million to $190 million. There are consensus estimates of no earnings in the third quarter on revenues of $174.84 million.

A few of the main financial highlights from the report were:

  • Bookings of $174.5 million.
  • Mobile bookings now represent 66% of overall bookings at $115 million, up 30% year over year.
  • Advertising bookings, excluding licensing and developer payments, up 44% year over year.
  • Implemented $100 million cost reduction plan.

The company announced that Frank Gibeau, former Executive Vice President at Electronic Arts, joined the Zynga’s board of directors. Gibeau is an entertainment and gaming industry veteran who has spent nearly 25 years developing and publishing mainstream mobile, PC and console gaming franchises.

Mark Pincus, CEO and Chairman of Zynga, commented on earnings:

Our teams have been executing well and delivered strong second quarter results while also making significant progress against our best growth opportunities. In terms of our core franchises — FarmVille, Slots, Poker and Words With Friends — we beat our expectations and the teams did a good job delivering value for our players. We also launched Empires & Allies and FarmVille: Harvest Swap in second quarter, and are excited for the upcoming launches of Dawn of Titans, CSR2 and our new Slots game later this year. In terms of our people, we’ve made progress in moving to smaller game teams. We believe this will allow them to be more nimble, creative and innovative. We’re also continuing to add talent and leadership with our appointment today of Frank Gibeau, one of the top strategists in mobile gaming, to our Board of Directors.

At the end of the quarter, cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities totaled $1.10 billion, compared to $1.10 billion at the end of March 2015. Cash flow from operations was $4 million for the second quarter.

Shares of Zynga closed Thursday down 1.2% at $2.48 on its 52-week trading range of $2.20 to $3.19. Following the release of the earnings report, shares were down 1.6% at $2.41 in the after-hours trading session. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $3.24.

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By Chris Lange