Will Facebook Be Ruined By Zynga’s Collapse?

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) relied on Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) for 14% of its revenue in the 2011 fiscal year. Today’s crash in Zynga stock, and the resultant pessimistic view of the company’s prospects, means Facebook’s take from the company will surely fall this time around.

Facebook is not completely reliant on Zynga, but investor confidence may suffer, if that revenue slows, or reverses growth in recent years. In recent days we’ve already argued that if Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is to thrive as a company, it should wean itself off of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).

Will Facebook Be Ruined By Zynga's Collapse?

Aside from Zynga, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) appears to be performing well these days. The company marked it’s one billion user mark yesterday, and investors have been somewhat swayed by the company’s recent assertions that monetization is a top priority.

Several reports released in recent days, have taken on board recent clarifications of Facebook’s monetization strategy, and others have examined the link between Facebook and Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA).

A report from Bank of America Corp. (NASDAQ:BAC) argues that the fall off in revenue from Zynga might affect Facebook in more ways than one. The analysts suggest that the reduction in gaming by Facebook users reflects the fluidity of social network use.

This, according to the report, means that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) might be at risk from greater volatility in results going forward. That could make the company’s stock more volatile from quarter to quarter, than had previously been anticipated, according to the analysts.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) puts a twelve month price target of $37 on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock. The report sees a worst case scenario, in which Facebook reports earnings that are $10 to $15 million below Wall Street’s expectations, as a result of the reduction in revenue from Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA).

Goldman does not mention the structural information about the social market in the way that Bank of America’s analysts do. Greater volatility across all social markets may be a to far of a reach, on the part of BAC.

It is difficult to tell at this stage whether the contraction that has affected Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is specific to the company, to the gaming sector, or to the entire social networking space. It is too early to pin down any single cause for the company’s misfortune.

There are trends working in Facebook’s favor. Investors have willingly taken on board the company’s clarification of its monetization strategy. New revenue streams are the most important thing to investors in the company. It is now clear that simple visual ads will not bring the revenue growth they crave.

Jeffries lists the company, as a buy with a twelve month price target of $30. The report lauds the newly developed Facebook Exchange. According to the analysis, the new product has a much lower cost per action than other exchanges.

The firm is highly positive about the growth potential of Facebook Exchange, and thinks the product could scale much more quickly than any competing advertising exchanges. The exchange is just one of ten monetization trends Jeffries is now tracking at Facebook.

The others include the Mobile Ad Network, Facebook Gifts, Sponsored Search, and the newly launched Promoted Posts feature. The firm is confident that Facebook will be able to scale at least some of these services.

The equation that needs to be solved by investors, is whether or not Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) homegrown revenue channels will scale faster than the projected revenue of Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) was supposed to.

Facebook is finally facing an investing public at least somewhat excited in its growth potential. The company can certainly thrive, if revenue from Zynga collapses, but volatility in the short to medium term may increase, as results come in lower, and potential growth is rechecked.

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