Zynga Inc (ZNGA) Earnings Preview: More Traction Needed

Zynga Inc (ZNGA) Earnings Preview: More Traction Needed

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is scheduled to release its next earnings report tonight after closing bell. Analysts at BMO Capital Markets are looking for more traction in the game maker’s current offerings and also solid new launches. They maintained their Market Perform rating ahead of tonight’s earnings report.

What to expect in Zynga’s earnings report

In a report dated Aug. 5, 2014, analyst Edward S. Williams said he’s looking for second quarter bookings of $189 million and adjusted EBITDA of $17.2 million. That’s compared to last year’s $188 million in bookings and $8.3 million in adjusted EBITDA.  The consensus estimate for bookings is $191 million, and for adjusted EBITDA, $18.3 million.

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The BMO Capital team reports that their estimate is slightly lower because they think it will take another quarter or two for the company’s growth initiates to make a difference on its financial performance. Until that happens though, they think Zynga’s $1.1 billion net cash balance, which is over 40% of its market capitalization, offers a solid floor to its share price.

Zynga moving in the right direction

The BMO Capital team thinks Zynga management is moving the game maker in the right direction. They note that management is trimming costs and investing the company’s capital in mobile, which has a higher growth profile. In addition, management is working on improving the quality of the company’s game offerings and building the right team to manage operations.

The analysts want to see Zynga’s current offerings to gain more traction and see evidence that the company is launching games that resonate with players and are successful. If they see these two things, they could begin to get more constructive on the company’s shares. They are expecting a report tonight about Zynga’s turnaround efforts and to hear more about mobile gaming and how it can stem declines due to social PC games.

Tonight’s earnings report will be key in showing whether Zynga’s management really is executing successfully on their plans to turn the company around.


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