Still crushing some metals and mining stocks

Chances are, at some point today — if you interacted at all with other humans by traveling to work, shopping, going to a class, or simply observed the public at large in some manner — you saw someone playing the mobile game, Candy Crush Saga.

Maybe you even played it yourself. Or are about to play it right now. It’s ubiquitous. My wife is addicted. Each night I get an update. As of March 31, she was on level 530 – and she flaunts her progress like a badge of honor.

Last week, King Digital Entertainment (Symbol ‘KING’ on the New York Stock Exchange), went public. According to Motley Fool, “the company behind the outrageously popular mobile game Candy Crush Saga, failed to achieve the same popularity with investors when it IPO’d on March 26. The stock declined from its initial offering price of $22.50 per share, and by the end of the week shares of King were down nearly 20%.”

Tsk tsk, boo hoo. Please excuse some metals and mining companies if they cannot sympathize with King’s weak debut. Since its IPO, the King stock price has traded between $17.62-19.64 per share, as of this writing. A quick check shows that is still more – sometimes by a wide margin — than several major steel, metals, and mining stocks.

As of April 1, shares of ArcelorMittal (MT on NYSE) — the world’s biggest steelmaker — were trading at $16.26, or a 52-week range of $10.83-17.92. US producer, AK Steel (AKS on NYSE) is nowhere near Candy Crush land, trading between $2.76-8.47 the past year.

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Shares of one of the world’s three largest iron ore miners — Brazil’s Vale — have been mired in the $12.29-18.55 range for the past 52 weeks. Same with big coal producers like Peabody (BTU) and Walter Energy (WLT), $14.34-21.85 and $7.07-26.46, respectively.

And poor Alcoa (AA on NYSE), shares of which struggle daily to break $13, where management would probably give a sweet tooth to approach King’s trading levels. In 52 weeks, the big aluminum producer’s stock has traded between $7.63-13.18 per share. And it’s not just metals, but associated industries like automotive: Ford (F on NYSE) has not broken $18.02 in a year.

I know I’m older, but really? A handheld game bests the stock prices of these one-time stalwarts of industry and manufacturing – companies that actually PRODUCE something? And Wall Street is disappointed? Sorry if I sound sour that apps like Candy Crush Saga are the new, great commodities.

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  1. Joe Innace at April 4, 2014 12:04 pm

    Thanks for your comment, Bob. I’m not suggesting that price per share is the only yardstick. The key point was that we just don’t value hard goods/commodities — companies that make stuff — as much anymore…and that is absurd to me.

  2. Bob Schafer at April 4, 2014 8:12 am

    Price per share? Really? Anyone who makes such an absurd comparison between companies should not be allowed to comment on a self-respecting website. Come on, Platts. Tsk tsk, boo hoo.


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