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Zynga Inc (ZNGA), Pandora Media Inc (P): Last Week’s 5 Dumbest Stock Moves

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Stupidity is contagious. It gets us all from time to time. Even respectable companies can catch it. As I do every week, let’s take a look at five dumb financial events this week that may make your head spin.

1. Another Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) zinger


Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) keeps playing SmallVille.

The social gaming giant behind FarmVille and Words With Friends continues to lose gamers, and now it’s cutting lose some more of its game makers.

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) revealed that it will be letting go of 520 employees — or roughly 18% of its workforce — in the coming weeks. The move will shave as much as $80 million in annualized overhead at the company, but what will it do to shore up business if morale is on the wane?

Last year, it was losing executives, as its cascading share price made the once-juicy stock options less lucrative. Now, it’s showing the loyal folks that stuck around during the managerial exodus the door.

It’s not the way you play the game if you want to win.

2. Panned aura

Shares of Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) slumped 11% on Monday after reports surfaced that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is one step closer to rolling out its iRadio streaming service.

There’s just one major label that has yet to sign off on iRadio.

It’s a broken record at this point. We’ve been hearing about iRadio’s rollout for months, and it seems as if Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) always takes a hit on the news. It doesn’t make sense. iRadio will likely be a premium music service, yet all but 2.5 million of Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)’s more than 70 million active listeners are free users.

Other tech giants have also rolled out music streaming services, and Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) just keeps on growing. Have we forgotten the rise and fall of iTunes Ping as a short-lived social music experiment? Are we ignoring the inability of iTunes Match to gain traction as a cloud-based digital music locker?

There may very well come a time for a shakeout of the now-crowded music streaming market, but Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)’s unlikely to be a casualty. Monday’s sell-off was dumb.

3. Who’s your caddy?

Callaway Golf Co (NYSE:ELY) may have ushered in a new era in golfing with its oversized Big Bertha drivers, but these days, the golf gear maker keeps landing in the rough.

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