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King's stock loses over 20 percent on  Candy Crush Saga  weakness

King's stock loses over 20 percent on Candy Crush Saga weakness

August 12, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

King announced its quarterly results today, and in the process spooked the hell out of investors. In after-hours trading, its stock fell in value by over 20 percent.

That's most likely the reaction to the downturn in King's bookings, or in-game sales. Gross bookings were $611 million for the second quarter of 2014. While they were up 27 percent year-on-year, they were down 5 percent ($30 million) as compared to the first quarter of 2014.

Candy Crush Saga was the big loser here, the company said; newer games Farm Heroes Saga and Bubble Witch 2 Saga couldn't fully offset the downturn in its bookings.

The company warned investors it was over-reliant on the title as it prepared to offer stock, and its IPO faltered amidst these fears. Zynga stock nosedived as its fortunes waned, which set the stage for investor reactions to King.

The company turned a hefty profit for the quarter: $188.3 million on a non-GAAP basis, up from $148.1 million for the same period a year ago. That wasn't enough to assuage investor fears, however, because revenues also missed analyst estimates: $593.5 million versus expectations of $606 million, Business Insider reports. The company also said that gross bookings would continue to decline in the next quarter before bouncing back at the end of the year.

King also announced that it would be paying a special dividend of $150 million to its shareholders -- principally (80 percent) to its execs and founders, to keep them locked into the company until it announces its 2014 results (likely early next year.)

It also announced the acquisition of Singapore-based Nonstop Games, a studio co-founded by former Wooga head of studio Henric Suuronen which is currently focused on creating mid-core mobile games. King said Nonstop's titles would launch in 2015. King paid $6 million for the studio, as well as a payout of $10 million to retain talent, with a possible $84 million earnout depending on how its games perform and how much talent stays with the studio post-acquisition.

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