Zynga Trading Pauses Last Too Long Amid Facebook Difficulty

ZYNGA earnings
Zynga Inc. employees at the company's new headquarters in San Francisco. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Zynga Inc. shares, paused for a volatility circuit breaker that was supposed to last five minutes, failed to resume until about 50 minutes later. Another halt also lasted more than an hour.

The stock was paused at 11:37 a.m. New York time after dropping as much as 14 percent from yesterday’s close to $7.08. The circuit breaker is triggered when a company rises or falls 10 percent within five minutes. It resumed at 12:27 p.m. and was halted again two minutes later because of volatility. Trades commenced at 1:35 p.m.

The delays happened as Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., its listing venue, said it was having trouble delivering trade executions from Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering. Customers of Fidessa Group Plc, which helps asset managers track transactions, weren’t receiving confirmation of trades from Nasdaq, according to a statement.

“It’s very odd,” Sam Ginzburg, a partner and head of capital markets at First New York Securities LLC, a New York-based proprietary trading firm, said in a phone interview about the delay in restarting Zynga. “Nasdaq is dealing with its own thing in terms of getting executions back to the Facebook people.”

Dani Dudeck, a Zynga spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Facebook shares were sold yesterday for $38 by underwriters. The stock ranged between $45 and $38 today. Other Internet companies slumped. LinkedIn Corp. slipped 2.6 percent to $102.28 while Groupon Inc. dropped 5.4 percent to $11.75.

The decline in Internet stocks shows “the fizzle of the hype,” Channing Smith, who helps oversee about $1.1 billion at Capital Advisors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said in a phone interview. “The expectation is that Facebook will come out and you will see a big rise in the share price. The earlier reaction is disappointing. Investors are looking at other names and say maybe there isn’t any much interest in this area than we thought.”

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