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For Zynga, the migration toward mobile means less revenue per player

For Zynga, the migration toward mobile means less revenue per player


Zynga posted $85 million in losses for the quarter despite $321 million in revenue, largely due to $133 million in stock-based expenses. During the earnings call the company stated that the growth in mobile users caused its bookings per daily active user to fall by 10 percent.

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Zynga released the financial results for its first full quarter as a publicly traded company, showing solid revenue growth of $9.8 million over Q4 2011, reaching $321 million in Q1 2012. Increased revenues weren't enough to push the company into the black, however, as $133 million in stock-based expenses contributed to an $85 million loss for the period. Zynga noted that using its own non-GAAP financial measurements, which adjust for the expense and the effect of amortization, that loss turns into $47 million in net income.

On its earnings call, the company reported that while the total number of daily active users (DAUs) grew 20 percent over last quarter, average bookings per DAU — a measure of revenue per user — actually fell by 10 percent. The effect is due to the less-profitable nature of mobile gaming compared to Zynga's traditional platform, Facebook. Because most of the company's new users are playing on mobile devices, the overall effect depresses the amount of revenue Zynga sees per user, although management believes it can make mobile more profitable over time.

Since Zynga’s $180 million acquisition of OMGPOP happened near the end of March, it had a minimal effect on the number of active users, but Zynga is increasing its total bookings prediction for 2012, from the range of $1.35 billion to $1.45 billion estimated in Q4 2011 to between $1.425 billion and $1.5 billion.