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Zynga Jumps: What Wall Street's Thinking

Tickers in this article: ZNGA

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Zynga shares surged after the social game maker posted revenue that was better than forecast and founder Marc Pincus announced he was stepping down from chief product officer at the company, allowing CEO Don Mattrick to take over the San Francisco-based company entirely.

San Francisco-based Zynga lost a penny a share on $161 million in revenue for the quarter, at the company's high end of its previous guidance, as the company achieved sequential growth across bookings, adjusted EBITDA, audience and mobile bookings mix for first time in 2 years. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for a loss of 1 cent a share on $147 million in bookings.

"In Q1 our teams delivered a solid start to the year against our strategic frame of growing and sustaining our franchises, creating new hits and driving efficiencies. We have established a strong base for 2014 and believe we are pacing well for a year of growth," said Don Mattrick, CEO Zynga in the press release. "For the first time in two years, our teams delivered sequential growth across our key performance metrics including bookings, Adjusted EBITDA, mobile bookings mix and audience."

Separately, Zynga announced founder Mark Pincus would step down from his role as chief product officer, but would still continue to be chairman of the board.

Shares of Zynga surged in pre-market trading, gaining 5.9% to $4.68.

The results come just a few short days after Zynga announced FarmVille 2: Country Escape, a new mobile game that will allow players to connect both on and off line to play the new game, any way they want, anytime they want.

Zynga gave second-quarter guidance, saying it expects revenue to be between $140 million and $160 million, with bookings between $175 million and $195 million. The company expects adjusted EBITDA to be between $10 million and $20 million, with non-GAAP earnings between breakeven and a 1 cent gain. Analyst surveyed by Thomson Reuters are expecting the company to be breakeven for the quarter, on $182.2 million in sales.

For 2014, Zynga expects bookings to be between $770 million and $810 million, with adjusted EBITDA between $70 million and $100 million. The company expects non-GAAP earnings to be between 1 and 3 cents a share. Zynga did not give revenue guidance for the full year.

Analysts are expecting Zynga to generate $780.4 million in revenue for the quarter, earning 1 cent share on a non-GAAP basis.