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5 Metrics Highlight The Trade Desk's Wild Growth

By Daniel Sparks – Aug 16, 2019 at 9:11AM

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Check out the ad-buying platform specialist's 42% revenue growth, 250% increase in connected TV ad spend, and more.

One company that seems like it can do no wrong recently is The Trade Desk (TTD -1.73%), a business that operates a platform to help ad agencies, marketers, and brands optimize their ad spend. Both its revenue and bottom line soared over the past year. The company's recent strong performance is "a testament to the increasing trust that major global advertisers are placing in us, as they shift more of their advertising dollars to programmatic," said The Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green in the company's second-quarter earnings call.

To really grasp how well the company is doing, consider some key metrics from The Trade Desk's second quarter.

A person's hands typing on a laptop with charts on the screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Revenue increased 42%

The Trade Desk's second-quarter revenue increased 42% year over year, an acceleration from 41% growth in Q1. What's particularly impressive about this growth rate is that it came on top of a 54% year-over-year increase in revenue in the second quarter of 2018 and a 54% increase in Q2 of 2017. Comparisons for the second quarter of 2019, therefore, weren't easy.

Robust growth in the quarter was driven by a combination of secular tailwinds in programmatic advertising, as well as the company's strength in fast-growing channels like connected TV (CTV), mobile, and audio.

2. Connected TV ad spend jumped 250%

A key driver for The Trade Desk's accelerated growth in 2018 was soaring spend on its platform for CTV ads. CTV ad spend last year skyrocketed 900% over 2017's CTV ad spend, making the channel a material driver for The Trade Desk's overall business.

The growth the company is seeing more recently in CTV ad spend has come down, but it's still rising rapidly: CTV ad spend on The Trade Desk's platform rose 250% year over year in Q2.

3. Audio ad spend rose 270%

For the second quarter in a row, audio ad spend rose 270% year over year in Q2. Green said in the company's earnings call that he believes audio provides marketers with "the best value in programmatic."

4. Data spend increased 80%

One often-overlooked aspect of The Trade Desk's business is its data business. In addition to its primary business of charging fees on ads transacted on its platform, the company sells data to customers. This business has picked up speed recently and continues to grow at a rate faster than revenue from ads. Data spend increased 80% year over year during the quarter.

5. Adjusted EBITDA was $58 million

The Trade Desk's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) was $58.0 million in Q2, up from $36.9 million in the year-ago quarter. This was significantly higher than management's guidance for the quarter's adjusted EBITDA of $46 million.

The huge increase in adjusted EBITDA came despite a 50% year-over-year increase in operating expenses.

"[A]s I have stated many times before, we believe our business model is exceptional," said Green about the company's stronger-than-expected second-quarter adjusted EBITDA. "We have the luxury to not have to choose between growth and profitability."

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 the following options: long January 2020 $60 calls on The Trade Desk and short January 2020 $125 calls on The Trade Desk. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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