February 15, 2012, 12:28 PM —
Shareholders of Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) who were hoping the social games maker's stock would add to recent gains related to Facebook's IPO were in for some disappointment Wednesday when shares fell nearly 16% in response to the company's fourth-quarter loss.
Zynga announced after Tuesday's market close a net loss of $435 million, or $1.22 a share, versus a net profit in the year-ago quarter of $43 million, or 5 cents a share.
The loss was attributable to a one-time $510 million expense related to paying the restricted stock units of Zynga employees as part of going public.
The company's revenue in the fourth quarter climbed 59% to $311.2 million from $195.8 million in the year-ago quarter.
Average analyst forecasts called for net income of 3 cents a share on revenue of $302 million.
While beating Wall Street expectations usually translates into share gains, Zynga's stock fell Wednesday morning to as low as 12.11, or 15.6% below Tuesday's close of 14.35.
That's because Zynga, which had a relatively disappointing IPO on December 16 -- closing below the $10 offer price -- went on a ticker tear beginning in late January thanks to the news that Facebook was readying to file for an initial public offering.
From the time rumors began leaking on January 27 of a pending Facebook S-1 filing, Zynga shares climbed 51% through Tuesday, all in less than three weeks.
Even with Wednesday's come-down, Zynga shares retained most of the gains they made since the Facebook IPO made news in late January.