Glu Mobile (NASDAQ: GLUU ) was one of last week's best performers, soaring 17% on strong initial performance of a new game and encouraging news on the IPO front.
Glu's Deer Hunter 2014 is a hit. The game has only been available since Sept. 18 for iOS and Mac platforms, but it's already making a difference.
It's the first Glu release to top 5 million downloads in its first five days of global release. The game has topped the App Store in 78 different countries.
The game isn't just being downloaded and ignored, either. The game set a single-day Glu gameplay record by being fired up 18 million times one day last week. It's a free download, but players are encouraged to pay up for virtual goodies, which is what made Deer Hunter 2014 set a single-day record for global revenue.
It remains a hot download. As of Sunday night, it remained the third most popular download for iOS and the top app for Macs, according to AppAnnie.com.
Glu's success with the virtual hunting game couldn't have come at a better time. Reports last week indicated that King -- the London-based developer behind the wildly popular Candy Crush Saga -- will file to go public using the same "secret IPO" path that Twitter has chosen.
It's not a surprise to see Glu and niche leader Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA ) move higher after the King news was reported. Zynga's stock climbed 8% on the week.
Things weren't exactly going according to plan for Glu and Zynga shareholders until the King-related pop and Glu's early success with Deer Hunter 2014. The fickle nature of casual and social gaming players is forcing companies into putting out more titles.
Zynga and Glu are losing money, and that's not going to change anytime soon. Wall Street sees both developers posting losses next year, too. King's likely in better shape, but just because an international darling goes public doesn't transform the fundamentals for either company.
The good news for Glu shareholders is that the market's neglect has made it surprisingly cheap. The stock is trading 40% below its 52-week high, now commanding a market cap of roughly $200 million. Zynga's weakness has weighed on the industry, but Glu is actually at least still growing. Analysts see Glu's revenue climbing 10% this year and accelerating to 19% come 2014. Zynga's still going the other way.
We'll see if Deer Hunter 2014's success finds the pros pushing their estimates higher. The company's low market cap really does price it where a big hit can move the needle -- and it seems to have a winner here.
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