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Why The Trade Desk Stock Skyrocketed Friday

Daniel Sparks, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of programmatic ad-buying platform The Trade Desk (NASDAQ: TTD) soared on Friday, hitting new highs. Shares were up 27% as of 9:52 a.m. EST.

The surge in the stock's price followed The Trade Desk's fourth-quarter earnings report, which featured revenue and earnings per share that crushed analysts' estimates. The company's full-year 2019 revenue guidance also came in meaningfully ahead of analyst expectations.

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Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The Trade Desk reported record fourth-quarter revenue of $160.5 million, up 56% year over year. This obliterated a consensus analyst forecast for revenue of $147.7 million (which would have represented about 44% year-over-year growth) and, notably, surpassed the company's 50% growth rate in Q3. 

The company's non-GAAP earnings per share were $1.09, more than doubling from $0.54 in the year-ago quarter. Analysts, on average, expected $0.80.

"Connected TV spend on our platform helped to drive our revenue acceleration," said The Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green in a statement to the media. "We had record CTV spend in Q4. Over 160 advertisers each spent at least $100K in CTV with many spending in the millions."

Now what

Looking ahead, The Trade Desk expects full-year revenue of $637 million, ahead of a consensus analyst estimate for revenue of $616.8 million.

In addition, the company forecast full-year adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $182 million, up from $159.4 million in 2018. But management noted in its fourth-quarter earnings call that any outperformance on its top line during the year will likely fall straight to EBITDA.

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Daniel Sparks owns shares of The Trade Desk. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends The Trade Desk. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.