Zynga’s cost cutting helps beat expectations

zyngaSocial gaming company Zynga, once the darling of the sector and Wall Street, has beaten the market’s rather low expectations for its third quarter performance, but also announced the departure of its CFO David Lee.

Revenue was US$196 million for the third quarter of 2015, a decrease of 2% compared to the second quarter of 2015 and an increase of 11% compared to the third quarter of 2014. The improvement has been attributed to the return of CEO Mark Pincus.

He commented: “We are seeing some initial benefits from the cost-cutting that we did in May. We have significantly lower operating expenses.”

Zynga is planning on managing its profitable games and then use that money to fund development. Pincus explained: “We can be in a position where we can deal with outside pressures or Wall Street. We can listen to our players and game developers about what is the right thing to do for a year from now, not just next quarter.”

However for now the firm has delayed two major games — CSR2 and Dawn of Titans — until 2016 and is on the hunt for a new CFO after Lee’s announcement.

“I want to thank David for the leadership and commitment he has shown Zynga,” said Pincus. “Over the past six months, David and I have partnered on a number of key initiatives to strengthen the company’s long-term position. This has included our $100 million cost reduction program, our continued transition to mobile and, most recently, our $200 million stock buyback program.”

Lee added: “I believe Zynga is in a much stronger position today than it was when I joined the company, and I want to thank Mark for his partnership. We’ve moved the majority of our business to mobile and are focused on growing our new IP and existing franchises, while significantly reducing our cost structure.

“I’m proud of what our teams have accomplished and know that they, along with our interim CFO Michelle Quejado, will continue to focus on delivering long-term value for our shareholders while executing against our mission to connect the world though games.”

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