Facebook to Blame for Zynga's Pain?
Technology Editor, CNBC.com
Zynga is learning the hard way that Facebook may not be the best platform for gamers, Doug Creutz, media and entertainment analyst for Cowen and Company, told CNBC on Squawk on the Street.
"I do think Zynga has a real business and there is a value for it," Creutz said. But the company, which traded at $10 a share at its IPO and $15.91 at its highest, priced in an “enormous amount of growth,” which also meant a lot of risks, Creutz said. And one of those risks was betting big on the social gaming platform. "Facebook is not a great gaming platform compared to mobile," he said.
After a Comscore report Monday noting that Facebook's unique U.S. users growth has slowed, Zynga's shares fell Tuesday to their lowest since the company's IPO.
The maker of "Farmville" and "Mafia Wars" has seen a recent drop-off in its daily users' activity, Creutz said. Daily active users dropped 12 percent in April and 8 percent in May, he said.
"You take a 20 percent decline in two months and you annualize that, that's a pretty severe rate of decline," Creutz said.
Zynga shares with Facebook 30 percent of its revenue derived from user purchases made on the social network.
While Zynga is trying to push into the mobile platform space to attract new users, the company's most fertile territory is still the social platform, Creutz said.
"Zynga is the dominant player on Facebook, so that's where most of their advantages lay," he said. "So a shift from social platforms to mobile platforms for gaming disadvantages Zynga, where it's not really a plus or minus for any of the other players in the space."
Creutz has $5.55 price target for Zynga.