What happened

Shares of PubMatic (PUBM 2.28%) fell 24% in July 2021, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The digital ad-tech expert was due for a sharp correction after soaring 32% higher in June. The stock took July's haircut with grace, slowly floating down as the days rolled by.

So what

The online advertising market is going through some structural changes these days. A few web browsers have already flipped the switch to disable third-party tracking cookies, which help marketers and their technology partners track the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. The leading browser, Alphabet subsidiary Google's Chrome, has installed the cookie-killer switch already but will not enable it by default until 2023. That updated deadline, which was originally expected to fall in January 2022, was the main reason for PubMatic's gains in June.

PubMatic didn't do much to cement those gains, quietly watching the stock slide back down toward the share prices of late May.

A dollar bill, folded origami-style into a charting arrow pointing down.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Investors are waiting for a fresh business update from PubMatic. The company will report second-quarter results after the market close on Tuesday, August 10. Management's guidance points to revenue growth of more than 70%, which works out to top-line sales of at least $45 million. More importantly, the earnings report will let management update their plans for how PubMatic's operations will adapt to a world without third-party tracking cookies.

Until then, the stock is stuck in a Wall Street limbo, trading 40% above its 52-week lows but also 60% below annual highs. Risk-averse investors want to leave this volatile ticker untouched for a few more quarters, but people with a higher risk tolerance might jump in and start a small position far below recent highs.