King Digital Entertainment PLC (KING) Falls In Debut

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King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING), maker of the popular game Candy Crush Saga, set its initial public offering price at $22.50 a share. Shares still haven’t fallen significantly below that, as they’re still around $20 a share as of this writing. However, percentagewise, they aren’t looking so good. Could we be seeing a repeat of Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)?

Of course it’s too early to tell, but we’re certainly not seeing the crazy exuberance we saw at Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s IPO, at least not yet anyway.

King Digital on the grey market

According to MarketWatch, King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING) actually did pretty well in grey market trading this morning. Gray market trading is any activity which occurs before official trading on a new stock actually begins. Shares of the Candy Crush Saga game maker rose to around $28.50 a share in that early activity. That inflated King Digital’s market capitalization from the $7 billion valuation at its IPO price up to more than $9 billion.

As Forbes notes, the IPO price of $22.50 a share means that, after selling 22.2 million shares, King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING) raised nearly $500 million.

King Digital compared to Zynga

Perhaps one of the reasons investors aren’t too excited about King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING)’s IPO is because of what happened to competitor Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) when it declined. Zynga’s valuation when it debuted on the NASDAQ was also $7 billion. After peaking more than two years ago, Zynga shares have just been declining and now remain more than 40% below its debut price.

However, what investors may not have thought about is that King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING)’s Candy Crush Saga unseated Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)’s Farmville for the title of most-played game on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). King Digital currently boasts 97 million daily active users and more than 1 billion daily game plats.

Also Rapid Ratings, a company which rates companies’ financial health, likes King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING)’s financial status. The company’s rating is 86 out of 100, and it cited solid returns on capital expenditures, strong price structure and good management of debt service. This rating of 86 is higher than the overall sector, at 45.3, and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s rating of 19 before its IPO.

About the Author

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle has been with ValueWalk since 2012 and is now our editor-in-chief. Email her at