Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) options traded actively on Wednesday as investors purchased 12,644 put options on the company, which is an increase of around 569% compared to the usual volume of 1,890 put options, according to Analyst Ratings Network reports.
Just couple of days back, Zynga’s director Sunil Paul bought 19,654 Class A Common Stock, as a conversion of a derivative security. Post-acquisition, Paul directly holds 142,943 shares in the company valued at $2.62 million.
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So far this year, the social game maker has seen active selling from insiders. Some of the prominent insider transactions include VP Devang Shah offloaded 39,189 shares at prices ranging from $ 2.86 to $ 5.06 per share. Director Stanley Meresman sold 8,333 shares, at prices ranging from $ 3.50 to $ 5.58 each share and Director William Gordon sold around 1 million shares during 2014 at an average price of $3.03 per share.
Will turnaround efforts pay off for Zynga?
Recently, Zynga revealed details of its upcoming mobile title Looney Tunes Dash. The game maker has previously licensed Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Road Runner and other Looney Tunes cartoon characters from Warner Bros.
Zynga is hoping to earn better profits from the Looney Tunes characters and compete with runner games such as the Temple Run series. Looney Tune games are another leap for Zynga, who is trying to expand as well as diversify its mobile gaming portfolio. The company launched NFL Showdown this month, which is its first game in the sports category. The social game maker is hoping to the earn kind of profits Electronic Arts got from a free to play mobile game based on the television network super hit series The Simpsons.
CEO Don Mattrick sees benefits in the licensing deals, and one of his strategies to turn around the company is to make deals with high-profile brand names. The company is planning to launch Loony Tunes Dash in few markets later this week. A spokesman said that the title will be available in all markets by the end of the year.
However, according to Michael Patcher, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, the performance of other cartoon-based games “is all over the place.” Patcher is not very upbeat on expectations that Zynga will receive much of a profit boost from a licensing deal with “yesterday’s brand.”