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Shocked Zynga investors get a penny per share

Still losing users and money in general though

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Zynga has shocked analysts by somehow coming up with a cent in earnings for each one of its shares.

The online gaming firm, which is struggling to retain its users, was expected to come up with a loss of three cents per share for investors, but managed to grab them a penny instead.

That did not make the rest of its financial results look much better though. Zynga still made a net loss in the fourth quarter of $209m, while its revenue for the quarter was the same as last year's, but bookings were down 15 per cent.

For the full year, the social gaming firm made just $1.28bn in revenue, up just 12 per cent from 2011, but bookings slipped 1 per cent down to $1.15bn. Zynga now expects the first quarter of 2013 to yield revenue of between $255m and $265m, down around 20 per cent from the same quarter last year.

Zynga was hot property just two years ago, but users have started to tire of the firm's Farmville and Cityville games. Like so many other tech firms, Zynga lagged in its move to mobile, underestimating how quickly folks would abandon their laptops.

While its daily active users are up slightly from the last quarter of 2011 - to 56 million from 54 million - the number is nonetheless down from the third quarter, when 60 million people were logging on. In response, Zynga has been ruthlessly axing games that don't work out, including Cityville 2, which only launched in the fourth quarter. ®

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