Despite its earlier push for an initial public offering “as soon as is practicable,” Zynga has now decided to pause until things settle down on Wall Street. Sources told the New York Post that Zynga is still enthusiastic about an IPO, the social game company is now considering a November public debut.
The decision makes Zynga one of at least a dozen companies to delay their anticipated IPOs in the current financial climate. It is unique, however, in that Zynga reported $90 million in profit on sales of $597 million during 2010. It is projected to exceed $1 billion sales in 2011.
Pausing also will give Zynga additional time to answer questions the Securities Exchange Commission posed after reviewing the company’s S-1 filing. Zynga’s creativity extends beyond the social gaming sphere and into financials with its use of an alternative non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) metric it calls “bookings.”
Here’s how Zynga defines bookings: “The total amount of revenue from the sale of virtual goods in our online games and advertising that would have been recognized in a period if we recognized all revenue immediately at the time of the sale. We record the sale of virtual goods as deferred revenue and then recognize revenue over the estimated average life of the purchased virtual goods or as the virtual goods are consumed.”
The SEC also sought more information on Zynga’s S-1 statement that it relied on a small percentage of paying customers for almost all its revenue, and Zynga’s amended filing now details that less than 5 percent of its users pay money for the games’ virtual goods.
An unrelated move noticed by the financial world was the Zynga board of directors’ approval of a new three-tier stock structure, a change that gave CEO Mark Pincus considerably more voting power than any other shareholder in the initial public offering, according to a Bloomberg report last week. He was given 70 votes per share, up from ten, while pre-IPO investors and other current holders will get seven votes a share, up from one. Public investors will get one vote for each share.
Pincus is Zynga’s largest shareholder with a 16 percent stake, after selling stock valued at $109.5 million, according to U.S. regulatory filings.
New York Post – http://tinyurl.com/3d8zwqv
Forbes – http://tinyurl.com/3j4p88w
Bloomberg – http://tinyurl.com/3e3jtvw