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Why Criteo Stock Popped Today

By Evan Niu, CFA - Mar 13, 2020 at 4:42PM

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Shares of the ad tech specialist bounced back along with the broader market.

What happened

Shares of Criteo (CRTO -1.05%) have popped today, up by 13% at the close, after the broader indexes rebounded amid ongoing market volatility driven by the coronavirus pandemic. There was no company-specific news for Criteo today.

So what

Investors continue to contemplate the possibility that the global economy will fall into a recession due to the outbreak, which has caused severe disruptions in daily life around the world. When Criteo, which develops ad tech tools for marketers, reported fourth-quarter results last month, it did not acknowledge any potential impacts of the coronavirus in its 2020 outlook, which calls for revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs to decline 10% this year and an adjusted EBITDA margin of approximately 30%.

Green stock chart going up

Image source: Getty Images.

Criteo faces considerable uncertainty, as it tapped former Nielsen exec Megan Clarken late last year to spearhead the company's turnaround, and the ongoing public health crisis will only add to those unknowns.

Now what

"I'll make sure that in 2020 we lay the foundations for our long-term success and focus on the initiatives that drive the most impact in the long run," Clarken said on the earnings call last month. "Key objective for the long term is to capture opportunities that strengthen our revenue mix and make our business more resilient and sustainable over time."

In its annual report, Criteo acknowledged that the coronavirus could hurt the business, although the risks are mostly macroeconomic in nature if the company's advertising customers are impacted. "In addition, a significant outbreak of contagious diseases in the human population could result in a widespread health crisis that could adversely affect the economies and financial markets of many countries, resulting in an economic downturn that could affect demand for our offerings and likely impact our operating results," Criteo wrote.

Evan Niu, CFA has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Criteo. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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