Monday, April 22, 2019

Shares of bobblehead maker Funko plummet after public debut

by Melody Hahm


Pop culture licensing company Funko (FNKO) went public on Thursday.

Funko began trading at $8 per share at 11:35 a.m. ET, 33% below the initial public offering price of $12, which was already reduced from the previously expected $14 to $16 range.

As of around 2:00 p.m. ET, shares traded in a range of $6.99 and $8.35.

The Everett, Washington-based bobblehead and plush doll manufacturer Funko decked out Times Square with a larger-than-life Ironman and Hulk to get the buzz going.

CEO Brian Mariotti was scheduled to do an interview with Yahoo Finance’s live show, Midday Movers, but canceled a few minutes after trading started.

Underlying trouble

As Stephen Gandel at Bloomberg points out, the company has chosen to highlight financials that paint an unrealistically rosy picture of its financial health.

“In Funko’s IPO prospectus, in a chart with a big arrow pointing up, the company says that an important measure of its income, which it uses to determine the success of its operational strategies, rose by an average of 86 percent in its past two full years,” he writes.

“The actual bottom line, though, was up an average of just 16 percent in 2015 and 2016 and has turned negative lately. Funko lost just more than $10 million in the first half of this year. How the toymaker gets a loss of $10 million to reflect back as an 86 percent earnings increase is the latest example of fun-house accounting on Wall Street.”

Funko has been a private company for the last 19 years and was sold to a private equity firm two years ago. Its disappointing opening Thursday perhaps confirms that it still wasn’t ready for its public debut.

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