Commentary

Analysts Remain Bullish On Trade Desk Post-IPO

It is widely acknowledged that The Trade Desk’s initial public offering (IPO) was one of the best-performing IPOs of 2016. Now whether this means best-performing for the ad-tech sector or overall is the question. But take this, for example -- on September 21, the IPO was priced at $18 per share, and the post-IPO trading range has been quite different. As of today at 9:30 a.m. ET, the stock was trading at $25.75. Not bad for a stock that closed at $30.10 on the first day of trading. The stock’s post-IPO trading high has been $33.40.

A publication called 24/7 Wall St. reports that it has seen mostly “positive analyst coverage” of the IPO, which bodes well for ad tech in general. The old adage -- a rising ride lifts all boats -- just may be the case here.

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According to 27/7 Wall St., a release as of September 26 found that 700,000 shares of The Trade Desk stock in the overallotment option were exercised in full.

It’s interesting that most firms set their price targets pretty similarly. For example, 24/7 Wall St. reported that Citigroup started coverage on Trade Desk with a “Buy” rating and a $31 price target; Jefferies started coverage with a “Buy” rating and a $35 price target; Needham & Co. initiated coverage with a “Buy” rating and a $32 price target; Raymond James chose a “Buy” rating with a $31 price target; and RBC Capital Markets started coverage with an “Outperform” status and a $33 price target.

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week revealed that Fidelity Management now holds a 14.75% passive stake in Trade Desk.

Apart from the underwriting syndicate, Susquehanna issued a “Positive” rating on September 22, and its price target at that time was $40, a high.

The post-IPO analyst trading range is landing between $23.50 and $33.40.

It will surely be interesting to track this stock to the end of the year and see what its performance bodes for AppNexus and other ad-tech firms that are preparing IPOs.

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