Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) revealed its earnings report for the first three months of 2013 today, Thursday April 24, after the market closed. The company revealed that it had earned a surprise 1 cent per share in the first quarter of the year on revenue of $264 million. On today’s market, the company’s shares closed at $3.34.
Analysts were expecting a loss of 4 cents per share in its earnings report on revenue of $265 million. In the first three months of 2012, the company managed to earn 6 cents per share on revenue of $321 million. In the lead up to the announcement, Whisper numbers suggested that the firm’s results would be better than expected, a loss of 1 cent per share.
The reason for the company’s less than adequate results is the recent change in its business model. Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has realized that social gaming is a difficult business to stay successful in, and they’ve tried to extricate themselves from it, in favor of gambling, a more resilient form of gaming.
Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) released its first real money gambling game in the United Kingdom in April, meaning that earnings from the segment are not contained in today’s earnings report. It is unclear when the company plans to start offering those games in the United States, but some states have already legalized the practice, making a Zynga Inc presence almost inevitable.
This quarter is expected by analysts to be the worst Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) will record this year, and 2013 itself is expected to be the bottom, in results terms, for the company. Transitioning to a model that advertises real money slot machines with cartoon characters may result in another bottom, in the minds of some commentators.
Since the start of 2013, stock in Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has risen by more than 33 percent. Investors are confident that the company can turn its difficulties in social gaming into success in the real world gambling worlds. Analysts think that there’s little downside in the cash rich company’s shares, but analysts have been wrong before.
In the last year, the company’s stock has shed more than 60 percent of its value. Most of that fall was related to the bursting of the social tech bubble last May, after the Facebook Inc (NAASDAQ:FAB) IPO, and the weakness in Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) business.
In 2013, the company is betting on gambling, but investors won’t be able to get results from that venture until the company’s next earnings report.