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Where Are The Players? Zynga Gets Crushed

Earnings down, stock falls

By Scott Budman
|  Thursday, Oct 4, 2012  |  Updated 2:27 PM PDT
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Where Are The Players? Zynga Gets Crushed

Tough times.

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Once famous for its perks and awesome ways to waste time at work, Zynga is now all about headlines trumpeting its tumbling stock price and struggle to make money.

Adding to the San Francisco company's woes: Today's earning report, which shows another loss, and a forecast for tougher times to come. Zynga shareholders, already a patient lot, were last seen heading for the exits. Shares of company stock (ZNGA), at last check, are down about 17 percent, taking shares of Facebook stock down a bit with them.

Zynga, to its credit, is not covering things up here: As tweeted out by Zynga head of Marcom Dani Dudeck, this is a part of the letter Zynga CEO Marc Pincus sent out to employees:

Today we announced preliminary Q3 financial results and revised our forecast for the rest of the year.  I want to add more color to the announcement and our future opportunity.

The challenges we faced in our web business in Q2 continued in Q3 and while many of our games achieved plan, we still experienced overall weakness in the invest and express category. To address this we’re further investing in other genres like casino where we already lead with Zynga Poker and blue PVP, a category we pioneered with Mafia Wars, and now have the opportunity to reinvent with the industry’s best talent here at Zynga.

While we’re disappointed with these financial results, we’re proud of the progress that our teams made on many fronts.  We continue to see the power of our player network, launching three games, each achieving top 10 status with more than 6 million daily players. Within its first six weeks, ChefVille has become a mainstay for 45 million monthly players and FarmVille 2 introduced stunning 3-D farming for the first time in a web browser becoming the most popular social game within three days of network launch.

Pincus goes on to write that he's available to answer questions about the company's future.  It will be interesting to see how many investors hang around to hear the answers.

Scott can be found on Twitter:  @scottbudman


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