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Why The Trade Desk Stock Soared 59% in November

By Jon Quast - Dec 2, 2020 at 3:23PM

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Expectations were riding high, but the company overdelivered all the same.

What happened

Shares of The Trade Desk ( TTD -6.65% ) were up 59.1% in November, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock exploded over 40% higher in the early days of the month due to releasing an earnings report that impressed Wall Street. It pulled back a little after the U.S. presidential election, along with many other hot growth stocks, before climbing to new heights as the month went on.

So what

The Trade Desk reported its results for the third quarter of 2020 on Nov. 5. Revenue was up 32% year over year to $216 million, and net income more than doubled to $41 million, beating analysts' expectations. Particularly impressive was the company's 100% revenue growth in connected-TV advertising, leading to analyst upgrades. The stock skyrocketed immediately following all of this.

A businessman rides a rocket ship expelling cash exhaust over a multicolored bar chart.

Image source: Getty Images.

Beyond the solid Q3 report, The Trade Desk likely continued to head higher as investors digested the company's leadership role in Unified ID 2.0. Companies like Google (owned by Alphabet) and Facebook have made billions in ad revenue because of the return on investment provided by their targeted-advertising technology. However, The Trade Desk is developing Unified ID 2.0 as a less proprietary way to deliver the same results.

Top ad-tech companies like Magnite, Criteo, and LiveRamp are all on board with the project, and The Trade Desk is leading the charge. In the earnings call to discuss Q3 results, CEO Jeff Green said, "I firmly believe that Unified ID 2.0 will reach critical mass and adoption next year."

Now what

As already mentioned, The Trade Desk stock momentarily pulled back right after the election. For some, the election signaled a return to normalcy. As a result, this year's big stock winners sold off, and more traditional businesses saw their stocks gain. During those few days, you may have heard a pundit or two say something like "investors are rotating out of growth and into value." Translation: If it's up, then it's going down; if it's down, then it's going up.

I'd caution investors from getting too wrapped up in headlines like that. Stocks need to be taken on a case-by-case basis. In the case of The Trade Desk, the growth of its business over the past several years is real and shouldn't be dismissed. Perhaps it could trade lower in the short term because of the so-called investor rotation. But this is a company chasing a massive global-advertising market and will likely keep creating shareholder value over the long haul.

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.

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Stocks Mentioned

The Trade Desk Stock Quote
The Trade Desk
$89.51 (-6.65%) $-6.38
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,840.03 (-0.68%) $-19.29
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
$306.84 (-1.14%) $-3.55
LiveRamp Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
LiveRamp Holdings, Inc.
$44.77 (-1.52%) $0.69
Criteo S.A. Stock Quote
Criteo S.A.
$38.67 (-0.54%) $0.21
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,850.41 (-0.87%) $-25.12
Magnite, Inc. Stock Quote
Magnite, Inc.
$16.88 (-1.57%) $0.27

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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