Shares Fell As Much As 18.6 Percent

20 July 2013 – By Cristian Dragomir

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Zynga is one of the biggest names when it comes to online games available on social networks. The creator of FarmVille has recently said they will abandon plans for real-money gaming in the United States. The announcement made by the software company led to a drop for their shares of almost 18.6 percent. Analysts of the online gambling market believe many investors own Zynga stocks because they believe in the potential of real-money gambling for social networks. For this reason, research analysts cut their target for the firm’s stock to $ 2.75 from $ 3.00.

The software development company’s gambling efforts kicked off this year in Europe, on the British market, but in many US states online gambling is still illegal and seeking a license would tie Zynga in regulatory tangles. The company’s CEO warned in his first public comments that the online gaming firm has up to a year of volatility ahead. When it comes to numbers, Zynga lost 40 per cent of its monthly active users in the second quarter and revenue fell about 20 per cent. Despite that, monthly active users jumped 21 per cent to 1.15 billion for Facebook, from which Zynga got 86 per cent of its revenue last year. Analysts say the company has been unable to replicate its success that was predicated not on great games, but on great network effects and first-mover advantage on Facebook.

The new management of Zynga, which was installed recently, said they intend to take the company “back to basics” with an emphasis on free-to-play games on Apple’s iOS and Google Android platform, as well as tried-and-true franchise like FarmVille. Market researchers believe that by exiting real-money gaming, the internet gaming company has eliminated much of the potential upside for the stock and the decision will turn away several investors. The company’s stock was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by many analysts on the market. On Friday, on the Nasdaq, Zynga shares were down 16 per cent at $ 2.93 and an impressive amount of shares were traded by midday, nearly 49 million, twice the stock’s average 10-day volume.

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