Zynga Insiders Cash Out Right Before Stocks Plummet

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When Zynga stock first went public, everyone thought it was going to be the beginning of a very large evil empire. Gamers were pretty sure this was the beginning of the end for what they would consider real video games, and that the subpar casual gaming Zynga has unleashed upon the masses would be the gloomy future of digital entertainment. Zynga stock went public at ten bucks a share, and at the opening bell, was valued at $8.9 billion. Back in April, Zynga insiders dropped 43 million shares of stock at $12 each. Yesterday, Zynga reported a fairly unhappy quarter wherein their stock dropped all the way to three bucks a share. Those Zynga insiders that dropped 43 million shares? They got out and made around a collective $516 million during the same quarter the prices of shares plummeted. Yes, we know what you’re thinking, and everyone else is thinking it too.

All of the quickly abandoned stock was sold solely by Zynga insiders. Even more telling, Yahoo Finance has some disturbing numbers showing just how much key figures in the sale made from abandoning their stock at just the precise moment:

  • Zynga CEO Marcus Pincus sold 16.5 million shares for $200 million
  • Zynga investor Google sold 4 million shares for $48 million
  • Zynga CFO David Wehner sold 386,000 shares for $4.6 million
  • Zynga COO John Schappert sold 322,000 shares for $3.9 million

The main figures above, as well as a few other key figures (which can be viewed over on Yahoo) that abandoned ship at the right moment, sure make the whole thing seem even more suspicious. However, aside from maybe Pincus’ $200 million, the rest of the numbers matched up with the size of the company or the position of the person are most likely actually peanuts compared to what they’re worth. Would Google really risk breaking laws and ruining some of their reputation in order to save a measly-to-them $48 million bucks? It doesn’t seem likely, although the timing of everything and the figures involved sure make the stock-abandoning quite suspicious. However, that’s probably all that it is, suspicious and nothing more. We all know timing can often be unfortunate, and large businesses aren’t exactly immune to coincidence.

Whether or not Zynga was involved in some dastardly insider trading, the key point to note is that their stock, which was selling for $12 a share only a handful of months ago, is now selling for $3 a share today. Maybe people stopped wanting shallow games prominently featuring Villes.

(via Yahoo)

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