Zynga’s Q4 Beats, Revenue Flat At $311M, Net Income Swings To A Loss Of $48.6M

Zynga’s revenue was flat year-over-year amid a tough fourth quarter that saw layoffs and a continuing series of executive and mid-level departures.

The company’s revenue came in at $311 million and the net loss was $48.6 million for the quarter, with non-GAAP earnings at 1 cent per share. Analysts had estimated that Zynga’s fourth-quarter revenue would come in at $212.1 million with a loss of 3 cents per share. Bookings were down 15 percent year-over-year, to $261 million.

“The biggest highlight of the quarter was seeing our team deliver a successful sequel in FarmVille2, a next generation social game that offers cutting edge 3-D experiences loved by millions of FarmVille fans,” said founder and CEO Mark Pincus in the earnings press release. “In 2013 we’re excited to bring this new class of social games to mobile phones and tablets and build a network that offers an easier, better way for people to play together.”

The release includes engagement numbers across Zynga’s titles (not FarmVille specifically). The company saw 56 million daily active users last quarter, a slight increase from 54 million during the same period last year, but down from 60 million last quarter. It also saw 298 million monthly active users, up 24 percent year-over-year but down 4 percent from the last quarter.

For all of 2012, Zynga is reporting revenue of $1.28 billion (up 12 percent) and a net loss of $209 million.

Zynga Q4'12

A year ago, Zynga’s fourth-quarter revenue came in at $311.2 million. But over the past year, Zynga’s network on Facebook has bled users while other casual game developers like King.com have risen in the rankings. At the same time, while the company has transitioned to mobile platforms and probably has the largest network of players on Android and iOS, it hasn’t been fast enough to compensate for a tougher environment on the Facebook platform.

Zynga engaged in significant cost-cutting measures this quarter to bring the company back to the brink of profitability. It closed more than 10 titles, had layoffs in its Austin office, and closed the Boston and Tokyo offices. The company has also seen more senior-level departures in the past few months, including Treasurer Mike Gupta and chief game designer Brian Reynolds.

But perhaps the very worst of the news has already been priced in. At a market capitalization of $2.1 billion, Zynga has an enterprise value of roughly $450 million over the $1.65 billion they have in cash, short-term, and long-term investments.

Despite the negative flow of news, shares rallied as much as 6 percent this morning on hopes of a surprise from a strong FarmVille 2 performance. Zynga recently said the game was seeing 8 million players per day. As of 4:32pm Eastern, Zynga is up 5.84 percent in after-hours trading.

In the release, COO David Ko describes 2013 as “a pivotal transition year” for the company: “We are focused on achieving three strategic objectives: growing our franchises on mobile and web, expanding our network and maintaining profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis.”