Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) Upgraded to “Strong-Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report released on Saturday morning. They currently have $4.50 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Zynga Inc. is the world’s largest social game developer with users playing their games which include CityVille, FarmVille, FrontierVille, Words With Friends, Mafia Wars, Zynga Poker, Cafe World, and Treasure Isle. Zynga Inc. games are available on a number of global platforms including Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, the iPad, the iPhone and Android devices. They operate their games as live services, by which they mean that they continue to support and update games after launch and gather daily, metrics-based player feedback that enable them to continually enhance their games by adding new content and features. All of their games are free to play, and they generate revenue through the in-game sale of virtual goods and advertising. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Cowen and Company restated a buy rating and set a $4.50 price objective on shares of Zynga in a report on Thursday, October 12th. BidaskClub upgraded Zynga from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Benchmark Co. restated a buy rating and set a $4.35 price objective (up previously from $3.65) on shares of Zynga in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $4.00 price objective on Zynga and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Wedbush set a $5.00 price objective on Zynga and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $4.11.

Shares of Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) opened at $3.85 on Friday. Zynga has a 1-year low of $2.40 and a 1-year high of $4.09.

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 7th. The company reported $0.02 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.01 by $0.01. Zynga had a negative return on equity of 1.37% and a negative net margin of 2.65%. The company had revenue of $224.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $211.98 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.05) earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 23.1% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Zynga will post 0.02 EPS for the current year.

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In other Zynga news, Director Ellen F. Siminoff sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.86, for a total transaction of $46,320.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 139,900 shares in the company, valued at $540,014. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders have sold 36,000 shares of company stock valued at $137,040 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 12.43% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Zynga by 0.3% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 60,801,279 shares of the company’s stock worth $221,316,000 after purchasing an additional 164,384 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Zynga by 5,061.5% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 35,936,741 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,420,000 after purchasing an additional 35,240,491 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its stake in Zynga by 33.4% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 23,009,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $83,755,000 after purchasing an additional 5,759,000 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its stake in Zynga by 14.8% during the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 13,188,402 shares of the company’s stock worth $49,852,000 after purchasing an additional 1,697,862 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. lifted its stake in Zynga by 1.5% during the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 9,266,153 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,026,000 after purchasing an additional 140,368 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.31% of the company’s stock.

About Zynga

Zynga Inc is a provider of social game services. The Company develops, markets and operates social games as live services played on mobile platforms, such as iPhone Operating System (iOS) operating system and Android operating system and social networking sites, such as Facebook. The Company has developed a range of social games, including games in its Slots, Words With Friends, Zynga Poker and FarmVille franchises.

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