Shares of ad-tech company Criteo (CRTO 1.24%) popped on Thursday because the company is reportedly preparing to restructure its business. And investors apparently approve of this development: The stock rose 10% for the day.
According to Business Insider, around 2,600 of Criteo's employees are going to be affected by the restructuring, although it's unclear if they will be laid off. But the bigger news here is that the company is reportedly getting ready to change a major component of its business. Until now, it's relied on third-party browser cookies to make sure people are shown relevant ads. But it now seems ready to move on to something else.
Assuming the report is accurate, this move from Criteo shouldn't come as a complete surprise to shareholders. The third-party browser cookie already had a dubious future, and there have been signs that the company was already preparing to take a different path. In October, it announced that it had joined a project called Unified ID 2.0. This initiative is spearheaded by The Trade Desk and already has several prominent ad-tech companies on board.
This shift is one reason I believe Criteo could be an undervalued stock. It's traded at a bargain price for years as investors feared the demise of its business model. But perhaps Unified ID 2.0 will breathe new life into the company. Whether I'm right or not, it's a subject investors should expect Criteo management to address when it reports earnings on Feb. 10.