Zynga’s Stock Keeps Withering on Day Two

Wall Street was not any kinder to Zynga on its second day of trading.

Last week, the Facebook game company sold 100 million shares at $10 apiece to raise $1 billion.

On its first day of trading, the stock fell 5 percent, and its losses are even deeper today. In early morning trading, the stock was down nearly 8 percent, or 73 cents, to trade at $8.77 a share. UPDATE: The stock ended up falling 48 cents, or 5 percent, to close at $9.02 a share.

No anti-wither serum exists in the real world to revive a stock price the way virtual crops can be revitalized in FarmVille, one of the game-maker’s hit titles.

Zynga is not the only recent Internet darling to take a nosedive.

It took a while longer, but about a month after Groupon went public, its stock tumbled and was trading for less than half its first-day high of $30 a share. Groupon has since rebounded, but it is also trading lower today, at $22.47 a share.

Zynga has not see those wild fluctuations yet.

Still, the losses do add up — at least on paper. Both the company’s public valuation and some of its largest shareholders’ shares are quickly dwindling in value.

The company is now trading at a valuation of $6.1 billion, down from its IPO valuation of $10 billion. Other big game companies, like Electronic Arts, are now more valuable, albeit only slightly higher.

Investors like Morgan Stanley are seeing their stakes drift further and further underwater.

Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley, which was also one of the Zynga’s underwriters in its IPO, purchased 5.3 million shares at $14 apiece, for a total of $75 million. Four other investors, which were unnamed, also contributed to the round totaling $490 million, according to the document.

Morgan Stanley’s stake is now worth only $46.5 million.

The dip is also hurting Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus’s stake, which is now worth less than $1 billion, or roughly $982.5 million.

One thing the company can look forward to is its first-quarter earnings, which will come out early next year and should be bolstered by a strong fourth-quarter performance. In the quarter, Zynga launched new games, including CastleVille, on Facebook, as well as some standalone titles for iPhone; the fourth quarter is typically strong because players have a little more free time to play — and pay — during the holidays.


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