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Zynga stocks tank- CEO sells millions days before


Keth
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Zynga CEO Mark Pincus dumped $200 million worth of stock this past April, three months before his company's stock suddenly tanked last night, according to a new report.

According to Yahoo News, Pincus sold $200 million worth of stock back in April, just when the year's second financial quarter had begun. Other investors and executives, including Zynga's CFO, COO, and General Counsel also sold millions worth of stock. Yahoo says they sold a combined 43 million shares of stock at $12 a share for a total of $516 million.

Zynga's stock is currently trading for $3.17 a share. According to Forbes, Pincus still owns about 67.7 million shares in the company.

Zynga, best known as the company behind games like Words with Friends and FarmVille, blamed yesterday's sudden stock drop on new Facebook notifications that downplay old games as well as the failure of Draw Something, which the company purchased earlier this year for $210 million. Zynga stock dropped 41% after the market closed last night.

I've reached out to Zynga for comment and will update should they respond.

 

 

also click the link, scroll to the comments and enjoy one of the best exchanges in awhile.

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their stock hit an all-time low yesterday, for reasons covered in axel's post - coulnd't happen to a better company, and that CEO is known for being one of the shittiest in the industry.

i recall reading their response plan was to start making gambling sites in 2013 in whatever country'd have them - anyway, i have to admit, it's kind of refreshing to see that bubble burst after so many half-assed analysts wanted to keep saying these facebook games were the way of the future.

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think you're right, lemme post the details:

 

Newsbrief: Social game giant Zynga announced today that it's decided to expand beyond free to play, microtransaction-based titles like FarmVille and Words With Friends, and has begun to develop games that support real-money gambling.

 

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said that the company plans to launch its first real-money poker game in the first half of 2013. He did not confirm which regions the game will support, but it might be some time until these types of games hit the U.S., as federal laws put strict limitations on online gambling.

 

"We have our first [real-money gambling] products in development, and we intend to release them in markets that are regulated and open, subject to our getting licensing," Pincus said. "The U.S. is obviously an attractive market, but its not an open and regulated market today, so we currently don't have plans for the U.S."

 

MFJBi.jpg

 

stocks down 41%

 

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Let the investigations begin

 

The folks behind Words with Friends have yet another problem on their hands: a new lawsuit charges Zynga's top-level employees with insider trading.

Law firm Newman Ferrara, one of five to announce that it would investigate Zynga for violating federal laws in the wake of news that insiders dumped half a billion in stock three months before it tanked last week, filed a lawsuit against the FarmVille maker last night in San Francisco.

The full suit, obtained by The Verge, alleges that Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and other insiders knew that the stock would crash when they sold shares this April.

"Zynga's regular employees were still locked up from selling their shares. But the guys at the top, who saw what was coming down the pipe, got to cash out," Ferrara attorney Roy Shimon told The Verge.

In the suit, Ferrara argues that Zynga's executives didn't disclose critical information to shareholders, such as a "rapid decline" in subscribers and goods sold as well as a "substantial" delay on The Ville and other new games.

At the end of March, Zynga's games had a total of 290 million combined users. In a report filed at the end of July, Zynga said that number is now 250 million.

"Zynga misrepresented or failed to disclose material adverse facts about its business, operations, and growth prospects including, among other things, that: (1) Zynga had been experiencing a rapid decline in user numbers and virtual goods sold in existing web games; (2) Zynga had faced substantial delays in launching new web games; and (3) Zynga's revenue and bookings were entirely dependent on Facebook's online gaming platform," the suit says.

Ferrara also says that when asked why he sold his stock this April, Zynga's CEO dodged the question.

"During a conference call held by Zynga to discuss its second quarter financial results, BTIG analyst, Richard Greenfield, questioned Defendant Pincus about the timing of Defendant Pincus' sale of his personally held shares," the lawsuit says. "Defendant Pincus declined to address the issue, instead responding off-topic that 'we believe in the opportunity for social gaming and play to be a mass-market activity, as it is already becoming.'"

The suit says that Zynga's execs knew the company was in trouble, and if they didn't, they "acted with reckless disregard for the truth" by not digging up the facts before the stock's collapse last week.

I've again reached out to Zynga for comment and will update should they respond.

Update: Zynga has declined to comment.

 

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