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Zynga beats expectations in 1st public quarter with sales of $311m

Company makes loss due to share compensation after IPO, but audience growing

Zynga has slightly exceeded the expectations of analysts in its first recorded public quarter, posting sales of $311 million (£197.8m) after forecasts of $302 million (£192.5). Revenues are up over 50 per cent from $195.7 (£125m) million in the same quarter for the previous year.

Share prices for the developer closed out at $14.35 per share, a day increase of 6.95 per cent.

Although the company ran at a loss of $435 million (£276.7m) for the quarter ending December 31, 2011, this was largely due to a payout of $510 million to employees which had been agreed in the event of an IPO.

For the full calendar year of 2011, Zynga made revenues of $1.14 billion (£725m), almost 100 per cent up on 2010's total of $597.5 million (£379m).

The social publisher also reported growth in audience figures, with MAU up 38 per cent to 153 million, The number of customers who paid to enhance the free games on offer rose to 2.6 million.

The company's Midas touch has not been universal, however. John Schappert, COO of the company, revealed that Mafia Wars 2, YoVille, and Treasure Isle had all underperformed during the period, although the initially disappointing Castleville had picked up to become one of the top five Facebook games by daily user.

All four of the other titles in that bracket also came from Zynga, Schappert said.

Predicted revenues are up for next year, with the company expecting to pull in $1.45 billion in sales for the full year.

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