Roku, Facebook, Magnite: Will Digital Advertising Stocks Continue To Outperform?

by Trefis Team
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Our theme of Digital Advertising Stocks – which includes digital ad platforms and ad technology players – has returned about 23% year-to-date, outperforming the broader Nasdaq-100, which is up by just about 13% over the same period.  The theme is also up by a solid 184% since the end of 2019.

Unlike high-growth software and cloud stocks which have seen a correction this year, advertising players are faring well as companies are likely to scale up ad budgets as the economy continues to open post-Covid. Moreover, marketers are likely to accelerate the shift of their ad budgets from traditional channels to digital channels as customers are possibly more receptive to digital ads following the pandemic, which saw people go online to work, learn, shop, and entertain themselves. The global digital advertising market is expected to grow by around 20% this year to over $450 billion in 2021, per eMarketer. Digital ad spending is expected to account for over 60% of overall media ad spending worldwide, up from just 46% three years ago.  [1] Below is a bit more about the stocks in our theme and how they have been faring this year.

Alphabet (GOOG), Google’s parent company, has been the best performer within our theme, with its stock rising 45% year-to-date. The gains have been driven by increasing usage across Google properties through the lockdowns and by the robust performance of the YouTube ads and cloud computing businesses.

Roku (ROKU), a vendor of streaming hardware, software, and services, has been another big pandemic winner, with its stock rising by 30% year-to-date. Roku saw its user base and engagement rise through the lockdowns as people were forced to stay home and rely on streaming and home entertainment options. Roku’s platform business – which includes its ad business and media sales – saw revenue double year-over-year during Q1 2021 to $466 million.


Facebook (FB) stock has gained about 25% year-to-date driven by a higher number of active users across its social media sites and an increasing shift to e-commerce, which is benefiting Facebook’s ad revenues. Revenue grew by a solid 48% over Q1 2021 to about $26 billion.

Magnite (MGNI), an ad technology company focused on the connected TV space, has seen its stock rise by about 19% year-to-date, driven by robust quarterly results and an increasing shift of advertising from linear TV to digital streaming services.

The Trade Desk (TTD), a major demand-side advertising platform, has seen its stock decline by about 5% year-to-date. The underperformance is partly due to Google’s plan to end the use of third-party tracking cookies in its market-leading Chrome browser – a move that investors believe will temporarily impact ad tech players.

Looking for reasonably valued software stocks with big room to grow? Check out our theme on Mid-Cap SaaS Stocks

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  1. Worldwide Digital Advertising Market, eMarketer []
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