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How Zynga, Groupon, Pandora and Facebook Have Cost Investors $39 Billion — And Counting

A trader at the New York Stock Exchange.
Photo: Oliver Quillia for CNBC.com

$39 billion.

That’s how much investors have collectively lost on Groupon , Pandora , Zynga and Facebook since those companies went public. It’s the kind of performance that can almost make you nostalgic for the good old dot-com days, when the fleecing of mom and pop investors was left to the Pets.com and iVillages of the world.

Just consider some sorry stats.

Since their IPOs, Pandora, Groupon and Zynga have lost a respective 41%, 66%, 68%. Even Facebook, the most anticipated IPO since Google , is off some 26% since its May debut. The combined earnings of those companies over the past twelve months reported? $226 million.

So what gives?

Weren’t we supposed to have learned our lesson from the late 90s? Wasn’t a company like Zynga, whose business model is predicated on people spending real money to buy fake money for fake products on a fake farm, supposed to raise just a couple red flags? And yet, of the 24 firms that cover the Zynga, only two have a “sell” rating, and nine have “buys,” and that includes today’s downgrades from JPMorgan and Goldman. (Thanks for the early heads up).

“It’s like Déjà vu all over again,” said Jacob Zamansky, a leading securities attorney who’s involved in a lawsuit against the Nasdaq on behalf of Facebook investors. “The analyst are pushing the stock without disclosing the risks, and rest assured, there will be lawsuits.”

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