Shares of Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) have gained 39% in the past 12 months and 7% since the beginning of this year. The company reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter of 2021 a day ago and raised its guidance for the full year of 2021. Here are three strong points that work in the company’s favor:
Zynga has a strong live services portfolio which continues to drive revenue and bookings. In Q1, the momentum in live services helped generate revenues of $680 million and bookings of $720 million, reflecting year-over-year growth of 68% and 69%, respectively. User pay revenue was up 62%. This growth was fueled by the Social Slots portfolio, Casual Cards portfolio, Empires & Puzzles, and Words With Friends.
The addition of new features to Toy Blast and Toon Blast as well as the launch of new games helped drive player engagement. Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells continues to perform well while Puzzle Combat, launched last month, is off to a good start. Zynga plans to launch new titles FarmVille 3 and Star Wars: Hunters later this year.
The hyper-casual game category is another growth driver which yielded strong revenue and bookings during the first quarter. The launch of titles such as High Heels! and Blob Runner have been successful in bringing new players into Zynga’s network and driving engagement levels.
Zynga expects its live services portfolio to drive the majority of its revenue growth during the second quarter and full year of 2021. This growth is expected to be driven by Toy Blast, Toon Blast, Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells and the hyper-casual portfolio. In Q2, revenue is expected to grow 49% YoY to $675 million. For the full year of 2021, revenue is estimated to increase 37% to $2.7 billion compared to the previous year.
Zynga continues to see strong user growth as people continue to play mobile games even as the COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions begin to ease. During Q1, average mobile daily active users increased 85% YoY to 38 million and average mobile monthly active users rose 139% YoY to 164 million, driven by Toon Blast, Toy Blast and the hyper-casual portfolio.
Zynga continues to make acquisitions that help broaden its portfolio and strengthen its position. The addition of Rollic has yielded tremendous benefits by generating strong revenue and bookings in Q1 and giving Zynga a stable foothold in the fast-growing hyper-casual games category.
During the quarter, the company acquired Echtra Games, a cross-platform game studio which will expand Zynga’s capabilities within the role-playing games category. Zynga also announced the acquisition of Chartboost, a mobile programmatic advertising and monetization platform, which will help scale its audience base and strengthen its position in the mobile games space.
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