The Buzz

All markets and investing news all the time

Zynga bets farm on gaming in Nevada

December 6, 2012: 10:28 AM ET

High stakes FarmVille anyone?

Shares of Zynga (ZNGA) surged 5% early Thursday after the company said it had filed an application for a gaming license in Nevada.

The news, announced late Wednesday by Zynga chief revenue officer Barry Cottle, is a step towards real-money gaming, or RMG, for the company. Zynga has been struggling to make money off what appears to be the waning popularity of its social-network based games.

"This filing continues our strategic effort to enter regulated RMG markets in a prudent way," said Cottle, adding that the application process should take about 12 to 18 months.

Zynga, best known for FarmVille and its other -Ville franchises, has already taken steps to expand into the quasi-legal world of online gambling. It recently partnered with, the British gaming company that specializes in online sports betting, poker and bingo.

Cottle suggested that Zynga could one day offer similar products in the United States.

"The broader U.S. market is an opportunity that's further out on the horizon based on legislative developments, but we are preparing for a regulated market," he said.

Related: Not yet game over for Zynga stock?

The gaming industry has lobbied Congress to relax laws against online gambling, arguing that games such as poker are based on skill rather than chance. But federal authorities have cracked down on offshore companies that have made millions on internet poker.

The move into real-money gambling is a potential game changer (wah-wah) for Zynga, which recently laid off 5% of its employees and has significantly lowered its outlook for earnings this year.

Zynga is facing mounting pressure as it struggles to keep users buying virtual goods on its biggest platform: Facebook (FB). The social network makes money from games like Zynga's Farmville and Mafia Wars, but users have cut back on their purchases. Facebook's latest earnings report showed a 20% decline in payments revenue from Zynga over the last year.

Last week, Facebook and Zynga revised the terms of five-year deal they signed in late 2010.

Under the new agreement, Zynga won't have to use Facebook as the exclusive way to log into games on the newly launched, which Zynga hopes to build into a standalone gaming destination.

In addition, Zynga won't be required to use Facebook's ads or virtual payment system on and is no longer required to use Facebook "as its primary non-Zynga platform."

CNNMoney's Julianne Pepitone contributed to this story

Posted in: , , ,
  • First Chinese IPO since April rises 10% in debut

    YY, the first Chinese company to brave the U.S. initial public offering market since April, was expected to meet a wary investor base Wednesday. Yet YY's (YY) stock managed to rise 10%  in its debut on Nasdaq (NDAQ).

    A Chinese Internet social media platform with a focus on gaming and video chats, YY, priced its offering at $10.50, the low end of its expected range. The company raised $82 million for MORE

    - Nov 21, 2012 11:04 AM ET
  • Facebook stock jumps 19% - best gain since IPO

    Facebook's stock surged more than 19% Wednesday, marking its best one-day gain since the company went public by far, as investors welcomed a healthy boost in sales.

    The social media giant delivered third-quarter sales of almost $1.3 billion when it reported earnings after the closing bell Tuesday. That's up 24% from a year earlier.

    In particular, investors were impressed by Facebook's ability to earn about $150 million from mobile, accounting for 14% MORE

    - Oct 24, 2012 4:01 PM ET
  • Facebook stock hits new low

    Facebook really can't catch a break. Shares of the social network hit an all-time low Friday after Bank of America-Merrill Lynch analysts lowered their price target and warned of headwinds for the stock.

    It's been a rough summer for Facebook. The company's much-hyped IPO in May fell flat as a pancake after Nasdaq (NDAQ) botched Facebook's opening. Since then, the stock has barely come within spitting distance of its $38-a-share IPO MORE

    - Aug 31, 2012 1:47 PM ET
    Posted in: , , ,
  • Groupon: Social media's

    At this rate, Groupon (GRPN) may never get back to a $6 billion market value. That number, in case you forgot, is what Google (GOOG) reportedly offered to buy Groupon for back in 2010. Groupon went public instead.


    Shares of Groupon plunged 23% Tuesday to a new all-time low after the company reported revenues that missed forecasts and sluggish guidance after the bell Monday. Groupon's market value is now below $4 MORE

    - Aug 14, 2012 10:22 AM ET
  • Facebook analyst: Sell to buy in 2 months

    Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser was the first analyst to assign a "sell" rating on Facebook back in May, when the social media day giant made its big (botched) public debut.

    Later that month, as Facebook's stock declined and fell below his then price target of $30 per share, Wieser changed his rating to "hold."

    But given the recent slide in Facebook's shares ahead of the company's first earnings report Thursday MORE

    - Jul 26, 2012 11:21 AM ET
  • The anti-Facebook: ServiceNow soars in IPO

    Did Morgan Stanley get it right this time?

    Morgan Stanley (MS) certainly made investors happy Friday, a day after it priced cloud computing company ServiceNow's initial public offering at $18 a share.

    It looked like a bold move last night (the estimated range was $15 to $17), but early Friday ServiceNow (NOW) debuted at $23.75, more than 30% above its IPO price. And its shares are still trading around $23.

    None of us MORE

    - Jun 29, 2012 12:22 PM ET
  • Facebook may finally get some Wall Street love

    I doubt that there were any champagne corks popping in Facebook's (FB) Menlo Park headquarters Monday. But for what it's worth, Facebook hit a milestone in its brief history as a public company: Shares rose 4.7%, marking the first time that the stock was up for three straight days.

    The winning streak hit four Tuesday. Facebook shares rose another 1.6%. So investors who bought Facebook on the day of its bungled MORE

    - Jun 19, 2012 4:20 PM ET
  • Farmville fatigue? Zynga's stock drops below $5

    It seems like quite a few Internet users are letting their virtual gardens grow weeds this harvest season.

    Zynga's (ZNGA) stock hit an all-time low Tuesday and dipped below $5 for the first time, as investors grew concerned about Farmville fatigue.

    The sell-off of more than 10% was triggered by an analyst report outlining how Zynga's games, including FarmVille and CastleVille, are losing their active user base. The sharp drop also forced MORE

    - Jun 12, 2012 3:59 PM ET
    Posted in: , ,
Fear & Greed
Sponsored by

To view my watchlist

Not a member yet?

Sign up now for a free account
Stupid Stock Move of the Day
#StupidStock Move of the Day! Yes, Urban Outfitters may be finally turnings things around. But $URBN up 17%? Seems a bit excessive, no?
Powered by VIP.