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Game maker Zynga's stock skyrockets after landing partnership with Disney to make 'Star Wars' games

Key Points
  • Zynga announces a partnership with Disney to make a "Star Wars" mobile game.
  • Shares rose as much as 11 percent to $4.14 before paring some of the gains.
  • Through the partnership with Disney, Zynga has the option to create a second game.
Pedestrians walk in front of the Zynga headquarters in San Francisco.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Game maker Zynga soared Wednesday on news of a partnership with Disney to make a "Star Wars" mobile game.

Shares rose as much as 11 percent to $4.14 before paring some of the gains to close nearly 8 percent up at $4.03. The surge pushes Zynga into the green for 2018.

"Star Wars is one of the most iconic franchises in the world and has engaged generations of fans for decades. As game makers and moviegoers, we're huge fans of Star Wars and are excited to create new experiences for players that bring this beloved brand to life," Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau said in a statement.

Through the partnership with Disney, Zynga — the maker of the popular game "Farmville" — has the option to create a second "Star Wars" game and assumes operations of the real-time strategy game "Star Wars: Commander," developed by Disney in 2014.

"The licensing agreement with Disney is a positive, in our view, and has the potential to expand Zynga's player base, as well as drive higher revenue and margin expansion," KeyBanc said in a note. "The win suggests that Disney also sees momentum in Zynga's underlying business and has confidence that it will develop a quality game (or two)."

Shares of Zynga are now up 10 percent in the past 12 months and just 11 percent off the stock's 52-week high.

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