Zynga Expects Stock IPO To Raise $1 Billion

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Social media gaming company Zynga this week is expected to begin trading its shares publicly. It plans to sell 100 million shares — each one priced anywhere from $8.50 to $10. Zynga's initial public offering is expected be the largest technology IPO since Google's in 2004.



OK, that song is going to be familiar to millions of people who play "Farmville," the online game of taking care of virtual crops and livestock, and one of several blockbuster games created by the company Zynga. This week, Zynga becomes the latest hot Internet company to launch a public stock offering.

NPR's Aarti Shahani has more.

AARTI SHAHANI, BYLINE: Zynga makes money by selling imaginary goods - goods like tractors that plow farms on Facebook. Its initial public offering is set for this week. Investors are arguing over the company's real value. Zynga hopes to raise about a billion dollars in sales of stock. That would make it the largest technology IPO since Google in 2004.

Stephanie Chang is an analyst with the investment firm Renaissance Capital LLC. She says Zynga is extremely successful at bringing gamers together online.

STEPHANIE CHANG: There are a handful of companies out there that have been able to experience explosive growth and are changing the way, you know, everyday people interact.

SHAHANI: But Sam Hamadeh of PrivCo, he doesn't buy the hype.

SAM HAMADEH: Zynga is no longer the only game in town, if you will.

SHAHANI: All puns intended, social game competitors like Electronic Arts, they're inching in. While social networking is exploding, the numbers of Zynga users are actually down, and the company is claiming a profit this year by borrowing from next year's revenue. Hamadeh thinks that Zynga is pricing its stock low on purpose. That way, headlines will say...

HAMADEH: Zynga's stock jumped 20, 30, 40, 50 percent. And it makes for a great marketing story.

SHAHANI: Going public is, by no means, the end of the story. Zynga has to work through the next year to convince gamers, and now traders, to stay invested. Aarti Shahani, NPR News.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Correction Dec. 14, 2011

A previous online introduction to this story incorrectly said that the Zynga IPO was expected to be the largest since Google's in 2004. It was actually expected to be the largest technology IPO since Google's.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from