Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA ) dropped nearly 17% early Thursday following a cautious analyst note, and news of the departure of several more senior executives.
So what: Yesterday afternoon, Zynga CEO Don Mattrick presented at the Bank of America Merryll Lynch 2014 Global Technology Conference. Following the presentation, however, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia -- who currently holds a neutral rating on Zynga shares -- noted that Mattrick seemed decidedly less upbeat than usual regarding Zynga's turnaround. In addition, Bhatia voiced concerns that Mattrick only provided limited visibility into Zynga's product pipeline.
What's more, some investors are concerned about reports that three more Zynga executives just left the company, including its former head of acquisitions,Terence Fund, former senior vice president of mobile and Words With Friends lead Travis Boatman, and former studio president and head of Zynga's Ville series of games, Steve Chiang. In short, this marks a complete turnover of Zynga's senior management team since Mattrick arrived last July.
Now what: Zynga declined to comment directly on the latest departures, so we can't tell exactly why they left. But I'm not reading too much into it, as this could have been a direct result of Mattrick's recent efforts to reshape the company.
I've long made clear my preference of avoiding shares of Zynga altogether, especially given its history of shareholder unfriendly conduct, bad economics, and the harder-to-quantify threat of survivor guilt following significant layoffs -- the last of which were ironically announced simultaneously with Zynga's $527 million acquisition of Natural Motion in February. In the end, whether today's latest concerns hold any merit or not, I'm still not interested in buying Zynga stock.
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