Bloomberg News

Facebook’s Zynga Sales to Reach $500 Million, GreenCrest Says

July 06, 2011

July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Zynga Inc., the online game company that’s preparing for an initial public offering, will generate $500 million in revenue for Facebook Inc. this year, according to GreenCrest Capital Management LLC.

The maker of “FarmVille” and “CityVille” will pay $100 million for advertising on the social network, and Facebook’s 30 percent cut of virtual-goods sales in games will bring in $400 million, said Nitsan Hargil, an analyst at GreenCrest, in a conference call today. That represents about 10 percent of Facebook’s total revenue, he estimated.

“Zynga is a very, very significant customer and we do not foresee that changing,” said Hargil, who’s based in New York.

Zynga, owner of the four most popular Facebook games, announced plans last week to raise $1 billion in an IPO, which would mark the biggest offering for a U.S. Web company since Google Inc. in 2004. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, accounted for “substantially all” of Zynga’s revenue in its four-year history, according to the prospectus.

Bookings, which include sales and deferred revenue, more than doubled last year to $838.9 million from $328.1 million in 2009. GreenCrest estimates bookings this year at the San Francisco-based company will almost double again to $1.6 billion.

Virtual-Goods Market

Zynga games are free to play, with the company making money from selling virtual items within applications, such as a townhouse in “CityVille” or a shipyard in “Empires & Allies.” The worldwide virtual-goods market will more than double to $20.3 billion in 2014, from $9.28 billion last year, according to ThinkEquity LLC, a San Francisco-based research firm. Facebook takes 30 percent of virtual-goods sales on its network.

Hargil predicts that Zynga will end up raising as much as $2 billion in its offering, which he expects to occur in October or November. The company has almost $1 billion in cash and received a credit line of about $1 billion from its underwriters. That means Zynga will have about $4 billion as it looks to grow through acquisitions, Hargil said.

Zynga has acquired at least 10 companies in the past year, helping it expand beyond Facebook games and into smartphone apps. The company bought Newtoy Inc., the maker of “Words With Friends,” in December. Four months later, it acquired Wonderland Software, creator of the game “GodFinger.”

--Editors: Donna Alvarado, John Lear

To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Levy in San Francisco at alevy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net


Cash Is for Losers
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus