What happened

Shares of digital advertising platform company The Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD) jumped as much as 24.4% on Friday, following the company's fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. The stock was up about 21.2% at 1:52 p.m. EST.

Investors are probably impressed with the company's revenue and adjusted earnings per share, which both came in ahead of analysts' consensus estimates.

The quarter's results were "outstanding," said Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green. "Our mission has always been to change the way advertising is bought on our software platform and 2017 marked a year of great strides toward that goal."

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So what

Fourth-quarter revenue was $102.6 million, up 42% from the year-ago period's result of $72.4 million. On average, analysts were expecting revenue of $101.7 million. Non-GAAP EPS of $0.54 was up from $0.33 in the year-ago quarter, and well ahead of the consensus estimate for $0.44.

Trade Desk operates an independent platform for objectively buying digital advertisements for clients across advertising networks at scale, using a data-driven approach. That platform attracted "more of the largest brands in the world" in 2017, management said.

As important as luring new business, the company also achieved an impressive 95% customer retention rate during Q4.

Now what

Green is optimistic about 2018, saying he expects it "to be another record year for the company as we continue to see great momentum in the adoption of programmatic advertising on our platform worldwide."

Management guided for 2018 revenue of $403 million and total gross spend of $2.1 billion, up from $308 million and $1.55 billion, respectively, in 2017.

One specific area investors should keep their eye on this year is the company's planned launch of an "enhanced user experience ... based on data visualization." Look for that to bolster customer satisfaction and help maintain the company's high retention rates.

Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends The Trade Desk. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.