When it comes to social media, or social gaming, the recent earnings reports from Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Zynga, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) were complete opposites. Facebook blew past its sales and even made serious mobile gains and its shares soared. Zynga managed to have better than expected sales, but its user base is shrinking on so many fronts that CEO Don Mattrick has an infinite of work ahead. The companies have been tied via social gaming efforts, but now Facebook is going in its own direction with social gaming development.
Facebook has unveiled its own mobile games initiative to publish games for its users. The company will financially and/or technically back startups and smaller gaming outfits with great ideas that would otherwise not be able to gear up or get past the noise barriers to being heard or discovered.
Facebook’s effort appears to actually take a cut of the revenues from these new partners. The company will handle the advertising efforts, offer analytical tools, and collaboration efforts. This effort may seem small on the surface, but technically this does represent a new revenue stream. Imagine what can happen on a quarterly earnings report if one game happens to be the next home run.
This represents just one more loss for Zynga, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA). It has been known for some time that the two companies were trying to distance their interdependence upon each other. Facebook needed to grow up and Zynga needed to get more independent efforts and more partners. The only problem is that Facebook is executing on a business model while Zynga’s efforts to date have led to where it its membership and users are declining faster than rates of smokers in the 1990s.
The good news for Zynga holders is that the stock is down only 1.6% at $2.97. The bad news is that Facebook now has a serious buffer for any new game development idea that Zynga can bring as far as what financial terms will be. You know those terms will be more favorable for Facebook than for Zynga.
Facebook’s stock is up close to 5% at $37.17. That confirms a new technical breakout but more importantly it is getting the stock almost back at the IPO price from where its troubles started. Facebook’s market cap, or stock market value is now almost $90 billion again ($89.4 billion) versus $2.35 billion for Zynga.