What happened

Share of The Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD), a provider of a data-driven ad-tech platform, went through the roof Friday. As of 8:35 a.m. EST, the stock was up more than 25%.

The growth stock's huge move higher follows The Trade Desk's third-quarter earnings report, which included revenue and earnings per share that crushed analyst estimates as marketers dialed up their programmatic ad spend significantly.

A chart showing a stock price rising

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The Trade Desk's third-quarter revenue jumped 32% year over year to $216 million. Not only was this a massive acceleration from a 13% decline in the second quarter, but total revenue obliterated analysts' average forecast for revenue of $180.9 million. This top-line momentum combined with The Trade Desk's scalable business model meant adjusted earnings per share increased from $0.75 in the year-ago period to $1.27. Analysts, on average, were expecting adjusted earnings per share of just $0.43.

Notably, connected TV ad spend on The Trade Desk's platform soared 100% year over year. Marketers are taking advantage "of the mass consumer shift to streaming TV," explained The Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green in the company's third-quarter earnings call.

Two other standout ad channels on The Trade Desk's platform were mobile video and audio, which both saw 70% year-over-year growth in spend.

Now what

The company said that, as long as there are no major unexpected economic or COVID-19 related setbacks in the fourth quarter, it expects a modest acceleration in its revenue growth rate during the important period.

Its guidance for record fourth-quarter revenue between $287 million and $291 million was far ahead of the consensus analyst estimate for $253 million.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.