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Why Zynga (ZNGA) Hit a One-Year High Yesterday

Updated on March 5 to more accurately reflect Mattrick's comments at the Morgan Stanley conference and included Mattrick's quote on the matter.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Zynga ZNGA hit a one-year high of $5.74 on Tuesday after CEO Don Mattrick announced the social gaming company's plans for the near future.

Mattrick spoke at a Morgan Stanley conference and said the following when asked about Zynga's plan for real money gaming:

"...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."

He also said users should expect new mobile versions of FarmVille, Words With Friends and Zynga Poker by the summer.

Reuters reported on Monday that Zynga would kick off a soft launch of new mobile versions of FarmVille 2: Country Escape, Zynga Poker and Words With Friends in undisclosed markets on iOS and Android phones and tablets by the end of March before an official release by the end of June.

The stock closed up 8.02% to $5.66, up 42 cents from its previous close of $5.24. It amassed a volume of 56,531,323, more than double its average of 27,192,600. It hit a low of $5.43 for the day and holds a one-year low of $2.50.

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STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings team rates ZYNGA INC as a "sell" with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ZYNGA INC (ZNGA) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $7.73 million or 60.90% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, ZYNGA INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ZYNGA INC is currently very high, coming in at 84.84%. Regardless of ZNGA's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ZNGA's net profit margin of -14.31% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 10.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 43.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • ZNGA has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.35, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ZNGA Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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