The Trade Desk's (NASDAQ:TTD) first-quarter results are out. Once again, they feature figures ahead of both management's guidance and analysts' consensus forecasts. Sharp revenue growth and a huge increase in the programmatic advertising platform company's non-GAAP earnings per share were driven by strength in ad spending in the company's mobile, connected TV, and audio channels.

The results have management upbeat. The Trade Desk lifted its outlook for the full year and says it's focused on gaining more market share.

The Trade Desk logo with the words Next Wave underneath. Background is a closeup of ocean waves.

Image source: The Trade Desk.

Beating estimates

In the first quarter, The Trade Desk's revenue increased 41% year over year to $121 million. Management had guided for $116 million and analysts were expecting $117 million.

"We continued to gain share in data-driven advertising as advertisers increasingly value our transparent, objective trading platform," The Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green said in a statement to The Motley Fool, following the earnings release.

The outperformance was particularly pronounced on the adjusted bottom line: The Trade Desk's non-GAAP earnings per share increased 44% year over year to $0.49. On average, analysts were expecting non-GAAP EPS of $0.25.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) also reflected the company's strong performance during the quarter. The metric increased 31% year over year to $24.7 million, easily beating management's guidance for $18.3 million. The Trade Desk's slower growth in EBITDA relative to its revenue growth rate comes as the company invests aggressively in its business, prioritizing market-share gains.

"We continued to invest in technology infrastructure, product development, and international expansion. These areas of investment are critical to gaining additional market share," said Green in the company's first-quarter earnings release.

Key drivers

The mobile, audio, and connected TV channels continue to be key drivers for The Trade Desk.

Gross spending on mobile in-app and mobile video ads on The Trade Desk platform each increased 60% year over year during the quarter. Total mobile ad spending (also including mobile web spending) accounted for 45% of total revenue.

Audio and connected TV continued to be The Trade Desk's fastest-growing channels, with audio spending rising 270% year over year and connected TV spending coming in over three times what it was in the year-ago period.

Looking ahead

Encouraged by a strong first quarter and a trend of the "biggest brands in the world" shifting their advertising spending to programmatic on The Trade Desk's platform, the company boosted its outlook for the full year. Management now expects revenue of "at least $645 million," up from a previous forecast of "at least $637 million." The company also said it now expects adjusted EBITDA in 2019 to come in at $188.5 million. Previously, management was guiding for full-year adjusted EBITDA of $182 million.

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