'Candy Crush' maker's stock falls in public debut

By Barbara Ortutay

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, March 26 2014 11:50 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this March 24, 2014 file photo, a detail from the online game "Candy Crush Saga" is shown on a computer screen in New York. King Digital Entertainment, the maker of the popular "Candy Crush Saga" makes its stock market debut on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

NEW YORK — A crush it isn't.

Wall Street is giving King Digital, the company behind the popular mobile game "Candy Crush Saga," the cold shoulder in its public trading debut.

King's stock priced at $22.50 on Tuesday, valuing the company at $7.1 billion. But it opened on Wednesday at $20.50, down almost 9 percent and lost more ground by midmorning.

King Digital Entertainment PLC, based in Ireland, had $1.88 billion in revenue last year. That's more than 10 times its 2012 revenue of $164.4 million.

Its other top games include "Pet Rescue Saga" and "Farm Heroes Saga." Some analysts have questioned whether King would be able to repeat the success of "Candy Crush," which has been far more successful than any of its other games.

This has drawn comparisons to another game maker, Zynga Inc. Zynga had a much-ballyhooed IPO in late 2011, but the company faltered after having trouble transitioning into a mobile company from one whose games are played mostly on a desktop computer.

But Ricardo Zacconi, King's co-founder and CEO, told CNBC Wednesday morning that the company is "not just a one-hit wonder" and pointed out that it has three games in the top 10 on Facebook.

King is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "KING."

By midmorning, the stock was down $2.50, or 11 percent, at $20 per share.

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