Zynga Beats Estimates, Boosted by OMGPOP

(Reuters) – Zynga Inc posted first-quarter revenue of $321 million, beating Wall Street expectations on the back of strong performances from new titles, including “Hidden Chronicles” and “Slingo,” as well as the acquisition of social gaming startup OMGPOP.

In late March, Zynga made its biggest acquisition ever by paying $180 million in cash to acquire OMGPOP, a relatively obscure New York-based company that shot to prominence about six weeks ago when its “Draw Something” game became a sensation in the mobile market.

“Even though it was during the last 10 days of the quarter, Zynga bought it when OMGPOP was generating a lot of revenue,” said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia.

On an adjusted basis, Zynga reported a quarterly profit of $47 million, or 6 cents a share. That compares with earnings of $16.7 million a year earlier.

The adjusted figures exclude $133.9 million of stock-based expenses paid during the quarter by the company, which went public in December. On a non-adjusted basis, Zynga swung to a loss of $85 million.

The San Francisco-based company said monthly active users increased by 24 percent, to 292 million, Bookings increased to $329 million. That metric represents the cash Zynga pockets upfront when people spend money on virtual items in its games such as tractors, houses or poker chips.

Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $317.25 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Zynga shares were down 4 percent in extended trading following the results.

(Reporting by Gerry Shih and Liana Baker; editing by Dale Hudson and Andre Grenon)

Image Credit: Zynga.com