Zacks Investment Research Lowers Zynga (ZNGA) to Hold

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Zynga Inc. is the world’s largest social game developer with users playing their games which include CityVille, FarmVille, FrontierVille, Words With Friends, Mafia Wars, Zynga Poker, Cafe World, and Treasure Isle. Zynga Inc. games are available on a number of global platforms including Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, the iPad, the iPhone and Android devices. They operate their games as live services, by which they mean that they continue to support and update games after launch and gather daily, metrics-based player feedback that enable them to continually enhance their games by adding new content and features. All of their games are free to play, and they generate revenue through the in-game sale of virtual goods and advertising. “

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on ZNGA. BidaskClub raised shares of Zynga from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 5th. Wedbush set a $6.00 price objective on shares of Zynga and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. Credit Suisse Group dropped their price objective on shares of Zynga from $4.90 to $4.50 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, November 1st. Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on shares of Zynga in a report on Thursday, September 27th. They set a “buy” rating and a $5.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Barclays set a $3.40 price objective on shares of Zynga and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, November 1st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $4.82.

Shares of ZNGA traded down $0.01 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $3.70. 5,718,996 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 18,410,908. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 123.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.28 and a beta of 0.42. Zynga has a 1 year low of $3.20 and a 1 year high of $4.57.

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The company reported $0.05 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.04 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $233.24 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $224.54 million. Zynga had a net margin of 3.12% and a return on equity of 1.89%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.02 EPS. Research analysts forecast that Zynga will post 0.07 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Zynga news, COO Matthew S. Bromberg sold 41,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $3.95, for a total value of $163,925.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 493,294 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,948,511.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Mark J. Pincus sold 437,322 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.70, for a total transaction of $1,618,091.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 576,322 shares of company stock valued at $2,177,796 over the last ninety days. 11.87% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Zynga by 36.6% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 60,593,714 shares of the company’s stock valued at $246,618,000 after acquiring an additional 16,221,442 shares during the last quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership increased its position in shares of Zynga by 4.4% during the second quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 39,695,436 shares of the company’s stock valued at $161,560,000 after buying an additional 1,689,711 shares during the period. Cadian Capital Management LP increased its position in shares of Zynga by 38.1% during the second quarter. Cadian Capital Management LP now owns 21,150,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $86,081,000 after buying an additional 5,835,562 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Zynga by 21.3% during the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 20,256,659 shares of the company’s stock valued at $81,229,000 after buying an additional 3,559,056 shares during the period. Finally, Millennium Management LLC increased its position in shares of Zynga by 556.4% during the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 10,593,802 shares of the company’s stock valued at $43,117,000 after buying an additional 8,979,924 shares during the period. 74.60% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Zynga Company Profile

Zynga Inc develops, markets, and operates social games as live services in the United States and internationally. The company's games are played on mobile platforms, such as iOS and Android operating systems, as well as on social networking sites, including Facebook. It also provides advertising services comprising mobile and display ads, engagement ads and offers, and branded virtual goods and sponsorships to advertising agencies and brokers; and software licensing and maintenance services related to NaturalMotion technology, as well as licenses its own brands.

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