In his first public appearance following his social media company's disastrous IPO in May, Mark Zuckerberg's address at Tuesday's TechCrunch Disrupt helped boost shares of Facebook's (Nasdaq: FB) close partner Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA), which has retained its prominence on the social network's app marketplace despite continuing financial woes and a seemingly endless round of executive departures.
During after-hours trading on Tuesday, Facebook's stock price increased by 3.4 percent to close at $20.08 a share. Zynga's shares jumped 2.5 percent to $2.86 per share at closing time, still remaining below the $3 mark that's left the company down 70 percent from its position at the time of its IPO last December.
Zynga reached a recent high in mid-morning morning trading on Wednesday, falling just short of the $3 mark at $2.95 per share.
During his address, Zuckerberg admitted Facebook's recent stock performance has proven "disappointing," but maintained that the San Francisco-based company's future mobile strategy has been "misunderstood" and will continue to help the social network expand despite his aversion to having Facebook create its own proprietary hardware like mobile phones. As for Zynga, another struggling Silicon Valley icon that attributed much of its current loss in stock market value and users alike to changes in Facebook's algorithms, Zuckerberg noted that increased competition has made the social company developer's continued prominence a more challenging endeavor than originally presumed.
"Zynga's had a rough few quarters," Zuckerberg said. But he added that "they're basically a strong company," according to Business Insider's live-blog of the event. Noting that there are some 200 million people log into the service to play social games now, he acknowledged the enterprising success of younger companies like King.com and Kixeye - a company that recently accused Zynga of "making games for grandmothers."
Zuckerberg's words were apparently enough to rally investors despite Zynga's continuing brain-drain. Despite heightened competition and struggling share prices, the company is continuing to roll out new games such as "ChefVille," which currently leads the Facebook marketplace in terms of monthly active users and "FarmVille 2," the company's first Facebook game to offer true 3D graphics.