Puzzle game Candy Crush is undeniably a hit to the masses. The game currently has over 64 million likes on its Facebook page and is now considered the most popular app on Facebook surpassing Farmville 2 and while it certainly brings money to its developer King Digital Entertainment plc, its success in the gaming industry is apparently not enough to guarantee its publisher an impressive performance on Wall Street.
Following its initial public offering (IPO) on Tuesday, King had a rather sour first day of trading at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as its stock tumbled by as much as 16 percent from its IPO price of $22.50. King's shares, which are listed under the stock symbol KING, opened at $20.50 Wednesday but fell down at the end of the trading day at $19.00 or 15.6 percent lower than its IPO price.
KING'S disappointing performance made it one of this year's worst IPO debut and reflects the investors' sentiment over the company's too much reliance on one game, the Candy Crush. King may have more than 180 games in its sleeves including Pet Rescue Saga, Farm Heroes Saga and Bubble Witch Saga, but up to 70 percent of its revenue is attributed to the highly successful Candy Crush Saga which means that the company's sweet days will likely be over as soon as people stop playing Candy Crush.
Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry said he isn't surprised to see King's falling price. "This company is going to be the next Zynga unless they do something very different," Chowdhry said. "The investors who went today or yesterday were investors that bought the stocks when Candy Crush was at peak. This is a peak, the only way they can go from here is down."
Social-game publisher and Farmville maker Zynga went public in December 2011 with an IPO price of $9.50 but the company's share price dropped and is now valued at $4.64. Just like King, Zynga had a concentrated source of revenue and was relying too much on Facebook at the time of its IPO.
King CEO Riccardo Zacconi, however, said that regardless of the unimpressive IPO, he is confident that the value of the company will take off. "The company has a great future. We are selling a very small amount of stock. We have been around for a long time. This is not unusual from what I have learned. I am super-confident," Zacconi said.