Zynga takes $404 million loss

Zynga's first financial results since it became a public company reveal an annual loss of $404 million (£257.2m).

Revenue in 2011 totalled $1.14 billion (£725.2bn), almost double the company's earnings in 2010. That year, the company posted a profit of $90.6 million. The huge loss means that investors holding Zynga stock have made an annual loss of $1.40 per share.

Almost all of Zynga's losses came in the final three months of the year. Revenue was $311.2 million (£198m), while losses totalled $435 million (£276.7m). The firm was hit with $528.8 million in "stock-based compensation expenses": stock options, given to employees in the early days of the company, that were triggered when the company's IPO went through.

There are positives. Daily active users in the fourth quarter rose 13 per cent year on year, while monthly active users climbed 23 per cent and monthly uniques were up 38 per cent. On December 31, the entire top five Facebook games were Zynga's, while Zynga Poker, Dream Zoo and Words With Friends were among the ten top-grossing iOS games during the quarter.

CEO Mark Pincus said: "2011 was another milestone year for Zynga's mission of connecting the world through games. We are seeing social games and more broadly play become one of the most popular pastimes on the web and mobile.

"Zynga is setting new records in the year in terms of audience size, revenues and bookings. We saw great momentum in mobile and advertising and ended the year with a strong pipeline of new games. We are excited about these opportunities in front of us to continue delighting our current players and to bring play to millions of new people."