Zynga posts 4Q net loss, higher revenue

February 14, 2012 - 6:25 PM
Earns Zynga

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2011 file photo, the corporate logo for Zynga, center, is shown on an electronic billboard at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York. Zynga Inc., releases quarterly financial results Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, after the market close. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Online game maker Zynga Inc. reported a net loss in the last three months of 2011, weighed by hefty stock-compensation expenses and other costs in its first quarter as a public company.

Its adjusted earnings and revenue skidded past Wall Street's expectations, but it wasn't enough to lift the stock of the company behind the most popular games played on Facebook.

San Francisco-based Zynga said Tuesday that it lost $435 million, or $1.22 per share, in the fourth quarter. That's down from earnings of $16.1 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings were 5 cents per share, surpassing Wall Street's expectations. This excludes one-time items including $510 million in stock compensation expenses triggered by the IPO.

Revenue rose 59 percent to $311 million as Zynga grew its user base, ad revenue and the money it makes from games such as "CityVille," ''FarmVille and "Zynga Poker."

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Zynga to earn 3 cents per share on revenue of $302 million.

Zynga said it had 54 million daily active users in the fourth quarter, up 13 percent from 48 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company launched 12 games in 2011.

"Zynga set new records in the year in terms of audience size, revenues and bookings," CEO Mark Pincus said in a statement. "We saw great momentum in mobile and advertising and ended the year with a strong pipeline of new games."

The company expects adjusted earnings of 24 cents to 28 cents in 2012. Analysts are forecasting earnings of 23 cents per share.

Zynga's stock fell 42 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $13.93 in after-hours trading. The stock had closed up 93 cents, or nearly 7 percent, at $14.35.