Zynga Has a Great Q4; New Games Take Off

Zynga, the largest social gaming company in the world, just reported its earnings for Q4 2011. It generated revenue of $311.23 million in Q4 to come up with a total revenue of $1.14 billion in 2011. It saw positive cash flow in 2011, but in terms of GAAP earnings, it recorded a net loss of $404.32 million. The loss was primarily due to the issue of new stock following its IPO in November, which led to a huge jump in stock based compensation expenses.

Founder and CEO Mark Pincus said, “2011 was another milestone year for Zynga’s mission of connecting the world through games. We are seeing social games and more broadly play become one of the most popular pastimes on web and mobile. Zynga set new records in the year in terms of audience size, revenues and bookings. We saw great momentum in mobile and advertising and ended the year with a strong pipeline of new games. We are excited about the opportunities in front of us to continue delighting our current players and to bring play to millions of new people.”

Zynga’s user growth numbers look quite encouraging. Its monthly active users increased from 227 million in Q3 2011 to 240 million in Q4 2011. It saw a similar increase in daily active user numbers, which went up to 48 million this quarter. It still had the top 5 most played games on Facebook in Q4 2011, with its new release – CastleVille – being one of them.

It even introduced a new metric in the earnings – monthly unique payers. The monthly unique payers increased from 2.6 million in Q3 2011 to 2.9 million in Q4 2011, which means that more and more players are paying for virtual goods in Zynga’s games.

It launched 20 new titles in 2011 – 12 of them on web based platforms like Facebook and Google+, and 8 on mobile platforms like iOS and Android.

In its earnings call, it also revealed that it was looking to enter the online gambling space, which could positively impact its revenues in the coming years. It also stated that it had been building up its own cloud infrastructure to power its games, which now powers more than 80% of its total capacity.

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