Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) shares are down 4 percent after analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch issued a report to investors this morning downgrading the stock.
The bank took their rating from Buy to Neutral, saying they see “less upside” to their $3.90 per share price objective, which they have left the same.
Shares of Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) have been riding high in recent weeks, mostly on the news that New Jersey has approved online gambling. However, the stock has been trending downward over the last five days.
The analysts said that while the opportunity for Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) to make money in the world of online gambling is “real,” it’s more of a long-term opportunity. In fact, they don’t see Zynga as being able to bring in revenue from online gambling until 2015.
In their view, land-based casinos which already have locations in New Jersey or Nevada—the two states which have legalized online gambling—may be able to have real-money gaming opportunities available online within the next six months, long before Zynga has even able to establish a foothold in those states.
BAML analysts did say their downgrade “could be wrong” because Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) could release a “hit new social PC game” this year, which they admit is very difficult to predict. Also the company could begin to find traction with its mobile business this year and yield even better results next year. And if Congress reintroduces an online gambling bill at the federal level, then it would make it easier for Zynga to launch an online operation.
The analysts also pointed out that there have been press reports saying that Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) could be a target for acquisition by other companies; however the analyst said that they don’t believe this is a likely option because the company’s CEO controls 59 percent of the company’s votes.