Zynga loses its zing

December 16, 2011

Zynga closed at levels below its opening price, dashing hopes that the social gaming company would see a monster initial public offering.

The game company’s stock closed around $9.35 per share, below the opening price of $11 and its initial valuation of $10. Shares fell as low as $9 around 11 a.m. and never fully recovered.

The company went into its IPO with a lot of buzz, but also faced a lot of questions about the viability of its business plan — particularly in regard to its reliance on Facebook. Most of the company’s users play through the social network, and the pricing agreement that Zynga has with Facebook to be paid 70 percent of in-game Facebook Credits purchases ends in 2015. The company gets more than 90 percent of its revenue from this partnership.

Facebook’s own IPO, which is rumored to be valued at $10 billion, is expected next year.

The company has been growing at an astonishing rate, but faces stiff competition from Electronic Arts. EA recently snapped up PopCap Games — the makers of Bejeweled and other titles — in a move that will set EA and Zynga head to head. Zynga’s games are popular, but it’s unclear if they will have the staying power needed to keep the stock at such a high value.

Related stories:

Alec Baldwin’s ‘Words with Friends’ obsession gives Zynga a boost

How would a $100B Facebook IPO match up?

Zynga IPO: Shares dip, stabilize in morning trading

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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