Zynga (ZNGA) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Saturday morning.

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. “

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on ZNGA. Consumer Edge assumed coverage on shares of Zynga in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They set an overweight rating and a $4.50 price objective for the company. Wedbush set a $5.00 price objective on shares of Zynga and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. KeyCorp reissued a hold rating on shares of Zynga in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. BidaskClub cut shares of Zynga from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a hold rating and set a $4.00 price objective on shares of Zynga in a report on Friday, September 15th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $4.14.

Shares of Zynga (ZNGA) remained flat at $$3.97 during midday trading on Friday. The company had a trading volume of 7,703,869 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,762,562. Zynga has a 1 year low of $2.40 and a 1 year high of $4.34.

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 7th. The company reported $0.02 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.01 by $0.01. Zynga had a negative net margin of 2.65% and a negative return on equity of 1.37%. The firm had revenue of $224.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $211.98 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned ($0.05) earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 23.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that Zynga will post 0.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Zynga news, COO Matthew S. Bromberg sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $3.95, for a total transaction of $197,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 294,206 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,162,113.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Ellen F. Siminoff sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $3.86, for a total transaction of $46,320.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 139,900 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $540,014. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 236,000 shares of company stock valued at $930,600. 12.43% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ZNGA. Alyeska Investment Group L.P. increased its holdings in Zynga by 453.4% during the third quarter. Alyeska Investment Group L.P. now owns 7,107,304 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,866,000 after buying an additional 5,822,916 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its holdings in Zynga by 33.4% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 23,009,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $83,755,000 after buying an additional 5,759,000 shares during the last quarter. Telemark Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Zynga during the third quarter valued at approximately $18,900,000. River & Mercantile Asset Management LLP increased its holdings in Zynga by 126.3% during the third quarter. River & Mercantile Asset Management LLP now owns 7,707,049 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,171,000 after buying an additional 4,301,645 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Quadrant L P CA increased its holdings in Zynga by 164.3% during the third quarter. First Quadrant L P CA now owns 6,002,422 shares of the company’s stock valued at $22,689,000 after buying an additional 3,731,357 shares during the last quarter. 70.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Zynga

Zynga Inc is a provider of social game services. The Company develops, markets and operates social games as live services played on mobile platforms, such as iPhone Operating System (iOS) operating system and Android operating system and social networking sites, such as Facebook. The Company has developed a range of social games, including games in its Slots, Words With Friends, Zynga Poker and FarmVille franchises.

Analyst Recommendations for Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA)

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