Slow Start For Zynga IPO

The Zynga IPO on Nasdaq last week of social gaming giant Zynga was the subject of analyst assessments Tuesday following the company's disappointingly slow progress  – it closed almost a dollar down on the $10 listing price Monday.

The San Francisco online gaming company, which generates most of its revenue from games on Facebook's social-networking platform, sold 100 million shares at $10 apiece Friday, raking in $1 billion and valuing the company at $7 billion.

However, the stock price began falling almost immediately after hitting the open market, and shares ended down 5 percent at $9.50. That pattern didn't change Monday, as Zynga stock slid to a closing price of $9.05.

Some analysts believe the stock is suffering from a large offering and increased competition. The offering represents 15 percent of the company, a much larger offering than other recent tech IPOs such as LinkedIn, Groupon and Jive, which all offered less than 10 percent.

That decision led to the inability of individual investors excited about the stock to raise the price, said Sam Hamadeh, CEO of PrivCo.com, which compiles financial data on private companies. The offering was “too big to move,” he said.

Other observers opined that the company's reliance on Facebook and fears that its meteoric growth may be plateauing could have discouraged investors, along with a changing sentiment toward tech companies, with buyers becoming more skeptical and perhaps fearful of another internet bubble.

They pointed to recent IPOs that excited initial interest that proved unsustainable: LinkedIn's May IPO saw the stock price quickly double, whilst Pandora hit $16 despite only targeting a high end of $12.  However, both companies were unable to hold on to those highs, and other tech IPOs in recent weeks also failed to live up to their initial hype, with Angie's List and Groupon both struggling to maintain early momentum.

Jim Krapfel, equity analyst at Morningstar, said investors viewed these as cautionary tales when evaluating Zynga. He claimed the market turned negative in August: “Until that improves meaningfully, that kind of trend will likely continue into 2012.” The economic recession has not helped confidence either, Hamideh observed.

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