Zynga Inc (ZNGA): A Battleground Stock With Turnaround Evidence

Zynga Inc (ZNGA): A Battleground Stock With Turnaround Evidence

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) may be in the midst of a turnaround, according to analyst Michael Maggi. He points to metrics which support his view of a favorable risk-reward profile for the game maker over the next few quarters.

Zynga’s user metrics turn around

In a report dated May 2, 2014, the analyst notes that although Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)’s user metrics still aren’t great, they have edged upward, which is progress. The company’s daily average user number rose 3.7% sequentially, while its monthly active user rose 9.8%. Zynga’s monthly unique users rose 7.5% quarter over quarter, while its monthly unique players increased 7.7% in the same time frame.

He states that this increase in monthly unique users was the first sequential one since the second quarter of 2012, suggesting that Zynga may have hit bottom finally.

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Zynga also shows stronger monetization

In addition, Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) reported better average daily bookings per average user. In fact, the number has increased over the last five quarters, although it has come at the expect of a declining daily average user base and bookings metric. In the most recently completed quarter though, the number of average daily bookings per user increased, in addition with total bookings and daily active users.

He also notes that payer conversion rates have remained flat between 1.6% and 1.7% over the last seven quarters, and he believes this is good even though a higher rate would be better.

Good things could be ahead for Zynga

The analyst notes that it’s been almost a year since Don Mattricks took the helm at Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA). The game maker has also been adding several other top executives to its ranks, like former Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) executive Alex Garden, former Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) executive David Lee and former Microsoft and Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) executive Henty LaBounta. He also believes Mark Pincus’ decision to step down as chief product officer will be good for the game maker, particularly in the wake of its acquisition of Natural Motion.

He thinks that acquisition will be an important one for Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), as it is well-known for more than one hit game and designing background animation for the popular games Max Payne and Grand Theft Auto.

Another key catalyst he sees is its declining dependence on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), which once made up almost 90% of its revenue. That number has fallen to about 50%, which is important because the social network takes 30% of the revenue which passes through it. He also sees Zynga Poker as being a big positive, as it’s the world’s top play money poker site.

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