Zynga soars after crushing its first earnings under a new CEO

Shares of mobile game developer Zynga are up around 12 per cent in after-hours trading, following a solid beat on Wall Street expectations for its quarterly earnings.

For the quarter, Zynga reported revenue of $187 million, beating Wall Street expectations of $162.19 million. Analysts were also expecting a loss of $0.02 per share; Zynga posted a loss of $0.01 per share.

At the time of writing, Zynga, best known as the developer of early social gaming sensations “FarmVille” and “Words With Friends,” was trading around $2.30 per share, still well below its 52-week high of $3.30.

It’s good news for Zynga, which has had a tough few months: Two months ago, after whiffing on earnings, Zynga founder Mark Pincus stepped down as CEO after an 11-month run, handing over the reigns to turnaround expert Frank Gibeau. This was Gibeau’s first partial quarter as CEO.

“Zynga has all the ingredients it needs for a successful turnaround. My priority is to bring our founding social gaming vision to life in our games and lead our teams to deliver high quality experiences for players on time and profitably,” says Gibeau in a release.

Under Pincus, and facing competitive pressure from the likes of “Candy Crush Saga” developer King, Zynga refocused on its most lucrative games, including poker and mobile slot machines.

He also placed more of an emphasis on doing more with less, and sharing resources between Zynga’s teams. Gibeau has committed to following a similar gameplan while focusing on improving margins and keeping a steady pipeline of games.

Another interesting note: Zynga also announced that for the first time, more people are playing its games on Apple platforms like the iPhone and iPad than they are on Facebook.

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