SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — “Candy Crush” got crushed.
That was the popular way to describe the social game maker’s public trading debut, as King Digital’s stock tumbled from the opening trade.
King KING +1.46% shed 15.6% to close at $19, the worst trading debut this year, according to data from Renaissance Capital. The company priced its initial public offering at $22.50.
The drop was so steep that analyst Scott Sweet, senior managing partner at IPO Boutique, said the IPO was hit by “extremely fast money,” as investors appeared to make a quick exit.
“It almost stood no chance,” he told MarketWatch. “It wasn’t surprising. It’s getting pounded.” He said there appeared to be “a hope for a pop that never materialized” as “traders immediately pulled the trigger.”
King saw strong demand in the days leading up to the IPO, even as doubts lingered over the company’s growth potential. Some analysts said the company was too dependent on one hit and called King aone-trick pony.
Sweet compared the King IPO to that of another social gaming company, Zynga,ZNGA +3.13% whose shares also fell when it went public in 2011. Zynga shares are still down more than 50% from its IPO price.