Skillz Stock Stumbles After Announcing Sale of up to 36.8M Shares

Posted on: March 17, 2021, 08:34h. 

Last updated on: March 17, 2021, 12:48h.

Skillz (NYSE:SKLZ) stock is sliding Wednesday after the mobile games developer said it and some investors are selling up to 36.8 million shares of common equity.

skillz stock
Skillz CEO Andrew Paradise seen here in a 2018 interview. The stock is sliding today on news of a share sale. (Image: Bloomberg)

The esports operator is selling 17 million shares of Class A stock. Certain investors are selling another 15 million shares.

Underwriters of the transaction have a 30-day window in which they can purchase up to 4.8 million additional shares from those investors, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Skillz intends to use the net proceeds it receives from the offering for working capital and general corporate purposes. Skillz will not receive any proceeds from the sale of Class A common stock offered by the selling stockholders,” according to a statement.

Based on the March 16 closing price of $30.69 for Skillz stock, the company estimates it will raise $503.1 million from the share sale.

Sale Follows Short Assaults on Skillz Stock

Equity sales usually weigh on the selling company’s shares, and Skillz isn’t proving immune to that trend today, as it’s trading lower by almost 11 percent.

Still, the gaming name is higher by 21 percent over the past week. During this time, two researchers issued bearish commentary on the company and its business prospects. Last week, Wolfpack Research published a report calling Skillz a “SPACtacular disaster,” referencing its debut as a public entity following a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Among other assertions, Wolfpack claims the gaming company’s projections are overly optimistic. It added that a previously announced developers accord with the NFL that led to a big rally in Skillz stock isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Earlier this week, a Twitter account known as @Restrinct published a 22-page report on Skillz noting the platform is “entirely dependent” on two-game studios to generate almost all of its revenue. The research also suggests Skillz faces risks via a ban from the Google Play store, which that company is pushing Samsung to embrace. Samsung’s Galaxy app store is the primary source of downloads of the Skillz app on smartphones using the Android operating system.

@Restrinct goes on to note that Skillz pays $1 in advertising to earn just 80 cents worth of growth and that it many of its ballyhooed deals don’t materialize into much of note. The company has since refuted both bear calls, saying the reports are loaded with inaccuracies.

“The trading price of our Class A common stock may be adversely affected by third-parties trying to drive down the market price,” said Skillz in the SEC filing. “Short sellers and others, some of whom post anonymously on social media, may be positioned to profit if our stock declines and their activities can negatively affect our stock price. These broad market and industry factors may seriously harm the market price of our Class A common stock, regardless of our operating performance.”

Capital Raising Common in Gaming Industry

Over the past year, numerous gaming companies raised capital view equity and debt sales, indicating an appetite for the industry’s securities is robust in the investment community.

While stock sales typically result in near-term retrenchment for the selling company’s equity because shareholders are getting diluted, gaming operators recently displayed a penchant for bouncing back from that downside.

Skillz is an emerging growth company and it needs to make good on that status to adequately rebut short sellers’ claims. Citing Statista, the operator says the market for mobile gaming will surge to $161 billion in 2025 from $86 billion last year.