Steady Q3 for Zynga, CFO resigns

$176m in total bookings driven by growth in key mobile franchises
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Zynga has released its Q3 2015 financial results, in which the social games firm report it has outperformed its guidance for the three months ending September 30th.

The firm generated $176m in total bookings, with 69 per cent accounted for by mobile titles. This is a growth of 26 per cent year-on-year, and six per cent since the last quarter. Advertising and other bookings were up 39 per cent year-on-year, 17 per cent sequentially.

Zynga also reported $1.1bn in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, and announced a $200m stock buyback program.

“Given our belief in the social gaming opportunity, our talent and our IP, we believe this is in our shareholders’ interests,” said CEO and founder Mark Pincus.

The strongest drivers of this quarter’s bookings were Wizard of Oz Slots, Words With Friends and new title Empires & Allies. Zynga has also decided to spend more time developing NaturalMotion’s titles Dawn of Titans and CSR2, pushing both releases back into 2016.

“As we get closer to our players behaviour over time, we believe there are a few key areas that we can optimise to increase long-term player retention,” Pincus explained. “For Dawn of Titans specifically, given how strong the early monetisation is for the game, we believe that a move of 200 basis points in day 30 retention has the potential to make the game a breakout hit. We are able to make these hard decisions, because of the cost reduction program that we put in place earlier this year.”

Despite encouraging signs of recovery and growth, Zynga is waving farewell to its CFO David Lee, who has resigned and been replaced by chief accounting officer Michelle Quejado in the interim. Lee will stay on until mid-December to manage the transition.

“I want to thank David for the leadership and commitment he has shown Zynga,” said Pincus. “Over the past six months, David and I have partnered on a number of key initiatives to strengthen the company’s long-term position. This has included our $100m cost reduction program, our continued transition to mobile and, most recently, our $200m stock buyback program.”

Lee added: “I believe Zynga is in a much stronger position today than it was when I joined the company, and I want to thank Mark for his partnership. We’ve moved the majority of our business to mobile and are focused on growing our new IP and existing franchises, while significantly reducing our cost structure.”

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