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Zynga's HQ May Be More Valuable Than the Company

Building Zynga bought in 2012 for $228M may now be worth closer to $540M
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2016 9:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – As a publicly held company, Zynga, the gaming company perhaps best known for FarmVille and Words With Friends, isn't doing so hot. Its market value of $9 billion in oh-so-distant 2011 has dropped to $2 billion, and the blog Halting Problem says that after factoring in substantial cash reserves, analysts peg its real worth at closer to $500 million. That's a notable sum—it's less than what sources tell Halting Problem is the estimated real estate value of the company's San Francisco headquarters: $540 million. Zynga bought the 668,000-square-foot, seven-story building for $228 million in 2012, and the San Francisco Chronicle reported in February that it was looking to sell the building but then lease it back. As the Chronicle now puts it: "So yeah, Zynga is going from owner to renter with a building that's worth more than it is. How San Francisco."

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Still, all is not lost. On Thursday, Zynga's shares closed 11% higher thanks to first-quarter revenues beating expectations, reports CNBC. It's not that the earnings were all that strong—they simply broke even, which is better than the expected loss. And while Zynga boasted an increase in ad sales, its customer base declined—an ongoing problem for a company whose bread and butter dates back to the Facebook desktop era but has yet to strike gold with mobile gaming apps. The company says it has released four games this year and will release six more throughout the year, including one about Willy Wonka, reports Adweek. (Zynga once sued a hookup app.)

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