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Zynga posts loss but beats forecast

NEW YORK — Battered shares of Zynga Inc. soared in after-hours trading Wednesday after the social gaming company posted stronger-than-expected revenue for the third quarter and said it will enter the gambling business.

Zynga booked a loss in the third quarter due largely to a charge marking down the value of mobile game company OMGPop, which it acquired in March for $183 million.

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The company lost $52.7 million, or 7 cents per share, in the July-September period. That’s down from earnings of $12.5 million from a year earlier, when it was still privately held. On an adjusted per-share basis Zynga broke even in the most recent quarter, matching analysts’ expectations.

Zynga also signed a deal to offer online poker and casino games, played with real money, in the United Kingdom. It plans to launch those games in the first half of 2013.

Shares jumped 29 cents to $2.42 in after-hours trading.

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