What happened

Mobile device ad specialist AppLovin (APP 1.48%) wasn't exactly feeling the love from investors this week, or analysts, for that matter. According to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence, the company's share price was down a queasy 27% week to date as of early Friday morning. The market is hardly eager to snap up tech stocks like AppLovin, and this sentiment was exacerbated by an analyst's downgrade.

So what

One theme of this year that seems to be rearing its head as the new year approaches is the shunning of more speculative tech stocks. AppLovin is an obvious target here, as its revenue sagged in its most recently reported quarter while top-line revenue guidance came in well under the average analyst estimate. It also abandoned its attempted merger with Unity Software. There hasn't been a lot going right for the company in late 2022.

So it wasn't ideal timing when, on Thursday, analyst Clark Lampen at BTIG reduced his recommendation on the specialty tech stock. Lampen now rates it as a neutral, where before he believed it was a buy. In his view, there will be pressure on mobile gaming advertising -- a key activity for the company.

The prognosticator wrote that his research indicates revenue growth rates could continue to lag behind those of the pre-pandemic period for as much as another two years.

Now what

AppLovin will surely be happy to see 2022 go. Vaulting into 2023 won't solve its nagging problems, though, and it's very possible sentiment on tech stocks will continue to be gloomy. Investors might, then, see another price swoon with the company if neither situation improves.