Zynga shares climb as game maker cuts losses

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Zynga, the struggling social games pioneer, showed signs it is getting a grip on spending with an earnings report on Tuesday revealing narrowing losses, which sparked an after-hours rally in shares.

Zynga stock was up more than five per cent to US$2.90 a share after the firm reported that it lost US$48.5 million on revenue of US$311.2 million in the quarter that ended Dec 31.

The revenue was little changed from the same period a year earlier, but the loss was a fraction of the US$438 million lost in the final three months of 2011. The results topped Wall Street expectations.

"Our team executed well in the fourth quarter and made important progress in building sustainable new revenue streams and further aligning our company around our best growth opportunities," said Zynga chief operations officer David Ko. "Zynga already has the largest social gaming audience and remains the best positioned company to lead in building the future of social gaming."

The number of monthly active users of Zynga games grew to 298 million in the quarter, a 24 per cent increase from the same period a year earlier but a slight drop from the previous quarter.

Zynga, which had suffered from delays fielding new games, launched six titles in the final three months of last year and boasted five of the Top 10 games at leading social network Facebook at the end of 2012.

The San Francisco-based company also continued to expand its zynga.com online forum for play.

"2013 will be a pivotal transition year and we are focused on achieving three strategic objectives: growing our franchises on mobile and web, expanding our network and maintaining profitability," Ko said.