What happened

Shares of The Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD) are soaring impressively on Friday, even as the market falls again amid coronavirus fears. The stock of the digital ad-buying specialist is up more than 12% as of 1:10 p.m. EST today.

The tech stock's jump follows the company's better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, which were announced after market close on Thursday. While investors were likely pleased with the company's strong growth in revenue and earnings per share during the period, the most upbeat takeaway from the report was The Trade Desk's impressive outlook for its first quarter and the full year.

A chart showing a stock price moving higher

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The company reported revenue of about $216 million, up 35% year over year. Adjusted EPS rose 37% year over year to $1.49. Both figures beat analysts' average forecasts. 

But management's outlook was particularly notable. The Trade Desk guided for first-quarter revenue of $169 million, implying 40% year-over-year growth. This would mark a significant acceleration from 35% revenue growth in Q4. Furthermore, the company guided for 2020 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $259 million, or a 30% adjusted EBITDA margin. This is the company's highest-ever initial full-year guidance for its adjusted EBITDA margin.

Now what

The Trade Desk's momentum going into 2020 is impressive. Perhaps the best way to capture management's bullishness about the year is to look at its guidance for ad spend growth on its platform. CEO Jeff Green said he expects ad spend in 2020 to be at least $4.24 billion. This implies about 36% year-over-year growth in ad spend versus 33% in 2019.

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