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Can Trade Desk Stock Keep Going After Last Week's 30% Pop?

By Rick Munarriz – May 15, 2017 at 9:21AM

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The programmatic advertising specialist moves higher after once again blowing the cover off of its revenue guidance.

One of last week's biggest winners was The Trade Desk (TTD 4.97%), moving 29.52% higher after posting better-than-expected quarterly results. At least four analysts would jack up their price targets on the provider of next-gen marketing solutions.

Revenue rose 76% to hit $53.4 million in the first quarter, well ahead of the $43 million it was forecasting just three months earlier. Analysts were holding out for only 43% in top-line growth. Adjusted earnings doubled to $0.18 a share, in line with expectations. 

Trouncing expectations on one end of the income statement turned heads, but Trade Desk's guidance confirms that this won't just be a one-time event. It initiated guidance for the second quarter, and the $67 million in revenue it's targeting was comfortably above Wall Street's target of $60.7 million. Trade Desk is also jacking up its top-line outlook for all of 2017, going from $270 million to $291 million. 

The Trade Desk on its first day of trading on Nasdaq.

Image source: The Trade Desk.  

Wall Street steps up

Several analysts responded to Trade Desk's blowout performance by raising the bar of their bullishness. Kip Paulson at Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded the stock from "neutral" to "overweight" and is increasing his price target from $40 to $55. 

Brian Fitzgerald at Jefferies was already bullish on Trade Desk, but with the company now 3-for-3 since going public at $18 in September, it's hard to bet against a stock that's up 188% in its brief life as a public company. Fitzgerald is encouraged by Trade Desk's ability to outgrow the industry, as its programmatic advertising platform continues to gain momentum. His price goal is going from $41 to $57. 

Mark Mahaney at RBC Capital is also jacking up his price target on Trade Desk stock from $45 to $65. Last week's report validated his "outperform" rating, as Trade Desk keeps beating and raising its own guidance. 

Finally we have Kerry Rice at Needham juicing his price goal from $48 to $56. He sees mobile, video, and international expansion as the keys to incremental revenue growth this year. Rice is also encouraged by new customer wins. Advertising Age reported earlier this month that Procter & Gamble was shifting some of its programmatic digital-media-buying operation to Trade Desk. The consumer-brand behemoth is cutting ties with AudienceScience as its exclusive provider when its contract ends next month, according to the report. 

Trade Desk has become a market darling in its first eight months of trading. Programmatic advertising is undeniably catching on, letting software improve the way marketing dollars are allocated. Trade Desk's revenue has risen by at least 70% in its first three quarters on the market. The $67 million it's targeting for the current quarter would represent just 42% growth since the prior year, but we saw what happened when it was eyeing just 41% in revenue growth during the first quarter. As long as Trade Desk keeps obliterating the growth targets that it seems to be conservatively setting, momentum will be on its side. 

Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends The Trade Desk. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Trade Desk Stock Quote
Trade Desk
$54.49 (4.97%) $2.58

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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