With the help of a 26% gain for The Trade Desk (TTD -1.63%) stock on Friday after the company reported third-quarter results that obliterated analyst estimates, shares of the tech company are now up over 215% in 2020 alone. It's been a great year for the data-driven ad tech platform provider, to say the least.
But after seeing The Trade Desk's impressive third-quarter momentum, one analyst is convinced there's even more upside ahead for the growth stock. He just upped his 12-month price target for the stock by a whopping $325.
The path to $925
Following The Trade Desk's strong third quarter, Susquehanna analyst Shyam Patil upped his 12-month price target for the stock from $600 to $925. The revised target impressively represents 13% upside on top of the more than 26% gain the stock already saw on Friday.
Though Patil said the quarter was "enormous," he also said he thinks this is still the tip of the iceberg for the company's opportunity to capture growing ad spend in connected TV (CTV). With so much long-term potential in this channel, he thinks it's not too late for investors to buy shares and get in on this growth story.
The Trade Desk's third-quarter revenue surged 32% year over year. Investors warmly embraced this top-line growth after watching revenue fall 13% in the prior quarter as The Trade Desk delt with a sudden contraction of ad spend amid coronavirus-related lockdowns. To Patil's point about the potential for CTV, the ad-tech specialist saw CTV spend on its platform rise 100% year over year during Q3.
The Trade Desk's CEO Jeff Green echoed Patil's sentiment about the upside in CTV, noting in the company's third-quarter earnings call that "2020 will go down in media history as a tipping point in TV."
The rapid decline in the number of U.S. households with traditional cable subscriptions is accelerating this year, with more sharp growth expected next year. These ad budgets, of course, are migrating to CTV.
"With TV advertising going digital, it makes no sense [for advertisers] to make massive, uninformed bets just because that's the way it's been done for decades," Green explained. "Now, they can apply data to those decisions and be more deliberate."
Is Patil too bullish?
Though a handful of other analysts did give their 12-month price targets for The Trade Desk stock significant hikes following the company's huge third quarter, none set a price target as high as Patil's. On the other hand, however, it's worth noting that analysts have been notorious for underestimating The Trade Desk.
The company has been able to sustain high growth consistently while also demonstrating extraordinary operating leverage. Because of this, The Trade Desk's bottom line has grown much faster than its top line -- and this has happened while investors have continually been willing to pay up increasingly higher multiples for this fast-growing earnings stream.
While there's likely a bumpy road ahead for The Trade Desk investors, the five-to-ten year outlook still does look promising.