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Zynga Has 'Words With Investors,' Earns Profit

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Zynga (ZNGA - Get Report) shares are higher after the company beat Wall Street estimates, despite fears to the contrary.

Excluding items, the San Francisco-based social gaming company earned 1 cent a share on $311.1 million in revenue for the fourth quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for a loss of 3 cents a share on $212.1 million in sales.

For the full year, Zynga reported $1.28 billion in sales, up 12% year-over-year, as daily active users (DAUs) increased from 54 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 56 million at the end of 2012. DAUs decreased 6% sequentially from the third quarter to the fourth quarter.

Monthly active users (MAUs) increased from 240 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 298 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 24% year-over-year. MAUs were down 4% sequentially.

"The biggest highlight of the quarter was seeing our team deliver a successful sequel in FarmVille2, a next generation social game that offers cutting edge 3-D experiences loved by millions of FarmVille fans," said CEO Mark Pincus in the press release. "In 2013 we're excited to bring this new class of social games to mobile phones and tablets and build a network that offers an easier, better way for people to play together."

Zynga noted that it had five of the top ten games on Facebook (FB - Get Report) as of Dec. 31, 2012, including Words With Friends and Zynga Poker. Late in 2012, the two companies amended their agreement, allowing them to seek other partners.

Zynga ended 2012 with approximately $1.65 billion in cash and cash equivalents, unchanged from the third quarter. Zynga generated $19.8 million in cash flow from operations during the quarter, down from $164 million in the fourth-quarter of 2011. Free cash flow was $29.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to $101.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2011.

For the first-quarter of 2013, Zynga said it expects revenue to be between $255 million and $265 million, losing between 4 cents and 2 cents a share. The company will hold a conference call at 5 P.M. EST to discuss the results.

Shares of Zynga closed the session higher, up 7.03% to finish at $2.74. The stock is moving higher in extended-hours trading, up 5.47% to $2.89 according to Nasdaq.com.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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