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Rovio Entertainment Hits the Target With Its IPO Pricing

By Motley Fool Staff - Oct 3, 2017 at 8:08PM

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The gaming company behind "Angry Birds” hit the market and shares held essentially flat.

In this segment of the Motley Fool Money radio show, host Chris Hill, Million Dollar Portfolio's Jason Moser and Matt Argersinger, and Aaron Bush of Supernova and Rule Breakers discuss the investment case for small video game maker Rovio Entertainment.

While some companies' shares shoot higher early, this initial public offering didn't, which could be construed as the company having gotten its money's worth out of the sale.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Sept. 29, 2017.

Chris Hill: Roku (ROKU -6.22%) was not the only closely watched IPO this week. Rovio Entertainment, the maker of the popular video game Angry Birds, went public. After a slight pop, shares ended up flat on opening day. And at one point, Aaron, Rovio was trading below its IPO price. If Roku left money on the table, did Rovio just do a bad job of pricing their own IPO?

Aaron Bush: It actually seems like they did a decent job of pricing the IPO, because this is more of what we should be seeing. I like that we're seeing another gaming company go public. But when you look at it, Rovio is far weaker and smaller than other gaming companies that we're used to looking at -- Activision, EA, Take-Two. Revenue is growing about 30% year over year, the business is profitable. It actually is a pretty good business. But, in terms of the brand itself, this is really just Angry Birds, 100%, unless you're into Fruit Nibblers or a couple of other games that they have, it's all Angry Birds.

Matt Argersinger: Fruit Nibblers? What?

Bush: I know, it's your favorite.

Hill: What if I told you there was a second Angry Birds movie coming in 2019? Does that get you interested in the stock?

Bush: I don't know that in and of itself gets me interested in the stock. I think the fact that they're able to take this gaming franchise and blow it up to a point where, literally over the last 6 months, over half of the company's EBITDA came from licensing deals. I think that's pretty impressive. It's a risk. I don't know if it makes me super excited, because I really want to see them have other brands that pop.

Hill: We were talking during the break about Angry Birds versus other companies, and I'm curious, Matty, how you view games versus franchises. To me, League of Legends is a franchise. Angry Birds, maybe I should be thinking about it as a franchise, but to me it's a highly successful mobile game.

Argersinger: Yeah. I think, a great video game has several franchises. But hey, there are gaming companies, Rovio is one, for a long time, King Digital, Candy Crush was it for them, it was 95% of revenue and profits. It can work, if you can really blow up the franchise and be successful. I think, down the road, you have to have a second or third act, otherwise it gets really hard.

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