Zynga Tumbles on Quitting US Online Gambling Plans and 2 Other Hot Stocks to Watch

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA): Current price $2.92

Zynga shares are down more than 18 percent Friday, after the company bailed on plans to move into the online-gambling business in the United States. The stock had pushed up 48 percent in 2013 through Thursday, on hopes that the firm could use Web betting to restart growth during a slump in gaming on Facebook’s network. In 2012, Zynga went through the preliminary steps to obtain a gambling license in Nevada, getting ready to enter a the market for online betting that could hit $7.4 billion a year by 2017, said researcher H2 Gambling Capital. However, in a Thursday statement, the firm said that “While the company continues to evaluate its real-money gaming products in the U.K. test, Zynga is making a focused choice not to pursue a license for real-money gaming in the U.S.”


Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI): Current Price $17.31

On Friday, Activision Blizzard said that it will acquire from Vivendi approximately 429 million company shares and certain tax attributes, at a price of roughly $13.60 per share and amounting to $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 per share acquired before taking into account the future benefit from these tax attributes. At the same time, ASAC II LP, an investment vehicle led by Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly, will purchase around 172 million company shares from Vivendi for about $2.34 billion in cash, or $13.60 per share. Activision is up by more than 13 percent in morning trading.


Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE): Current price $48.96

Expedia reported late Thursday that its second quarter profit fell by one-third, for which it blamed online rivalry that has become more and more intense. The firm widely missed consensus, and expenses for sales and marketing grew much more rapidly than did revenue. Analyst Brian Fitzgerald at Jefferies & Co. said that Expedia had weakness at its Hotwire site, writing, “The environment is growing more competitive, especially in the US,” as he cut his price target from $68 to $59, maintaining a Hold on the stock.


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