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Zynga's Shares Spring on CEO Comments, Mobile Plans

Updated from 9:32 a.m. to include additional information from CEO quotes in the third paragraph.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Zynga (ZNGA - Get Report) shares rose 4% Monday and were up another 6.5% early Tuesday as the company outlined its goals for the future at a Morgan Stanley conference.

During the presentation, Mattrick was asked about Zynga's real money gambling objectives, to which he replied:

"...Early on when I joined, I asked the team, tell me the size of the market and poker on Facebook, on mobile devices, tell me our share, tell me what's happening in the competitive landscape, why are we not investing more in this rapidly growing global business that has lots of profit, lots of consumers out in front of us. So, the first thing that we're doing is really focusing in on our core expertise and capability and getting to effective execution against that.

In relation to real money gaming and other ways to engage consumers, we have shared that we will be doing pilots in different geos in the world, we're not at a stage where we're announcing anything. When we're announcing, I'm trying to announce it with the intent to win and to make it global and to make it meaningful to our P&L..."

I've stated in Bitcoin and Poker: Zynga's Best Friend and Zynga Gamble a Worthy Bet
why I believe online poker games should spur revenue and profit growth for Zynga, which is already the No. 1 play-money poker site and is running a real-money poker site licensed in the U.K. Play-money poker uses virtual chips that have no real value, while real-money poker uses real cash.

If you're interested in using options to mitigate risk or to gain leverage or both, I also posted an updated RealMoney Pro trade idea using options.

Meanwhile, in a company blog, Zynga announced mobile versions for three of its games -- Zynga Poker, Words With Friends and FarmVille. The mobile versions will reduce Zynga's dependency on Facebook (FB). I have been critical of Zynga for allowing itself to become subordinate to Facebook. At one time, in order to play a Zynga game, a user had to go through Facebook. Fortunately for Zynga shareholders, that's no longer the case.

ZNGA ChartZNGA data by YCharts

Zynga's least path of resistance appears to be to the upside with $10 as my next price target.

Meanwhile, I couldn't help think of Zynga on Monday when my newswire announced Yahoo!(YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer is continuing her company's  search for more companies to acquire.

I remember when Yahoo! games were THE place to go if you wanted to play chess and many other social games. If Yahoo! has a desire regain leadership in social games, a Zynga purchase could happen. That said, I'm not holding my breath on a Yahoo! offer for Zynga any more than I'm holding my breath for Apple (AAPL) to make an offer for Yahoo!

At the time of publication, Weinstein is long Zynga.

Follow @RobertWeinstein

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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