King stock gets crushed as app spending slows

 
Oliver Smith
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CANDY Crush Saga developer King Digital saw its share price tumble far below its IPO pricing yesterday after disappointing investors with its first quarter results.

Revenue beat expectations at $607m (£357.8m) and profit rose nearly 150 per cent at $127.2m, but the number of players paying for in-app purchases declined from 12.2m last quarter to 11.9m, sinking further below King’s quarterly peak of 13m.

“We are pleased with our first quarter 2014 results and are executing on our plan to build a strong portfolio of games,” said King chief executive Riccardo Zacconi.

Executives also told analysts that King’s two-year-old Candy Crush Saga is showing signs of slowing down. It accounted for 67 per cent of gross bookings, compared with 78 per cent in the quarter ended 31 December.

Shares in the US-listed firm closed down 13.4 per cent at around $16.25, from an IPO price of $22.50 in March.