Zynga Earnings Reaction Boosted by Buyback and Short Covering

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Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) is out with earnings after the close. While the report does not look that great, investors have sold this one off to infinity and any news that is not of further implosion is probably more than welcome. It will sound a bit funny here as well because after Zynga announced layoffs it is also buying back up to $200 million worth of its stock.

The social gaming outfit said that sales were up 3% at $317 million versus $256 million. The company put guidance for booking at $1.09 to $1.1 billion, and it said that bookings in the last quarter were down 11% from a year ago at $256 million. Net cash from operations was $30 million and free cash flow was $17 million in the quarter. Zynga's non-GAAP earnings came in at breakeven, which is down from $0.04 EPS a year ago and versus a consensus of -$0.01 EPS.

Zynga also showed that daily active users rose to 60 million and monthly active users rose to 311 million. Monthly unique users rose to 177 million and average daily bookings fell 19% to $0.047 while monthly unique payers fell 28% sequentially to 3.0 million.

Shares closed down 3% today at $2.129 but the stock is soaring by 12% to $2.38 after the close. Keep in mind that shares recently hit a low of $2.10 today and that was under the $2.17 prior low. As noted, this stock and company is a dog but it is a dog close to book value.

This is likely short covering on the share buyback. Still, ask yourself how good things are if it came public this year, announced layoffs already, and is already buying back stock.

JON C. OGG


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Earnings Warning, Internet, Media, Video Games Tagged: featured, ZNGA
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