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King IPO is going ahead, under ticker symbol 'KING'

King IPO is going ahead, under ticker symbol 'KING'

February 18, 2014 | By Mike Rose

Social games giant King today took an extra step towards an initial public offering, as the company filed registration paperwork with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

There were originally murmurs in September last year that the Candy Crush Saga company was filing for an IPO. Now the company has filed its Form F-1, and showed its intent to list ordinary shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "KING."

King has not yet stated how many shares will be offered, what the price range for the offering will be, or when it's going to happen -- but the newly filed form suggests that the company is looking to raise up to $500 million.

The company will be hoping that its latest financial figures will spur potential investors into action. In 2013, King recorded revenues of $1.88 billion, up from $165 million in 2012, and profits of $568 million, up from $8 million in 2012.

Notably, as seen in the provided charts below, King's revenues and profits were actually down in the fourth quarter (compared to the previous quarter). This signals King's first decline in earnings since its original boom around a year ago.

king down.jpg

IPO risks

As part of its IPO filing, King listed various risks that come with investment, including the fact that "We have experienced significant rapid growth in our operations, and we cannot assure you that we will effectively manage our growth."

The company said that, to effectively keep its business on top form, it will need to continue to improve on its games and systems. "If we fail to do so, our ability to grow our business could be harmed," it adds.

The company also pointed out that "A small number of games currently generate a substantial majority of our revenue." Indeed, Candy Crush Saga, Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga accounted for 95 percent of King's total gross bookings in the fourth quarter of 2013 -- while Candy Crush Saga alone accounted for 78 percent. (King defines gross bookings as "the total amount paid by our users for virtual items and for access to skill tournaments.")

King's plan is to diversify its games catalogue in the coming months. "We must develop new games and enhance our existing games so that our players will continue to play our games and make purchases of virtual items within our games," it adds.

King has been in the news a lot recently, of course, due to numerous trademarking moves and cloning claims.

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