Seeking Alpha

The Rubicon Project, Inc. (RUBI)

  • Sat, Jan. 10, 4:37 PM
    • The number of M&A deals involving "advertising technology and services" rose 32% Y/Y in 2014 to 100, per data compiled by i-bank Coady Diemar. The dollar value of transactions more than tripled to $7.5B. Notable deals: Yahoo/BrightRoll, Facebook/LiveRail, Oracle/Datalogix, Acxiom/LiveRamp.
    • The consolidation wave isn't expected to let up in 2015, given a widespread belief there are far too many independent players competing in a market where bigger Internet names such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, and Twitter also play prominent roles.
    • "I don’t know what the right number [of companies] is, but it’s probably less than 10," says Luma Partners' Terence Kawaja, citing Google/Facebook's share gains. Coady's Colin Knudsen argues the services of ad tech firms  focused on one particular offering are typically more expensive, and that "only the best will be sustainable as standalone entities over time."
    • Online ad tech plays: FUEL, TRMR, YUME, TUBE, SZMK, RUBI, ACXM, MRIN, CRTO.
    | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 10, 2014, 7:10 PM
    • Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) DoubleClick Ad Exchange came first in ad analytics firm Pixalate's study of the quality of the ads delivered by 400 real-time bidding (RTB) platforms. Pixalate says its analyzed 100B+ ad impressions, gauging metrics such as viewability, fraud rates, engagement, and domain masking (i.e. the disguising of the Web address an ad links to).
    • Google/DoubleClick, which has been gaining display ad share for a number of years, received a maximum network score (measures the quality of ad domains) of 99. It also got high marks for inventory quality (92), viewability (96), engagement (90), domain masking (96), and fraud (88).
    • Among publicly-traded online ad firms, The Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI) was a standout, coming in at #3. Criteo (NASDAQ:CRTO) also fared well, ranking #15.
    • On the other hand, mobile ad network owner Millennial Media (NYSE:MM) was ranked #300. Millennial, bleeding mobile ad share to Google and Facebook (among others) over the last two years, is said to have a "high ratio of fraudulent traffic."
    • RTB accounts for much of the burgeoning programmatic (automated) online ad market. eMarketer forecasts the U.S. RTB market will grow 123% this year to $9.25B, and total $11.8B in 2016. The adjacent programmatic direct market (covers the automated buying of entire ad campaigns from publishers) is expected to grow over 10x from 2014 to 2016, to $8.6B.
  • Dec. 9, 2014, 1:25 PM
    • Mobile ad network owner Millennial Media (MM +8.4%), programmatic ad-buying platform Rocket Fuel (FUEL +5.3%), and video ad tech platforms Tremor Video (TRMR +6.4%) and TubeMogul (TUBE +8.5%) are among the day's standouts.
    • The Rubicon Project (RUBI +1.9%), Criteo (CRTO +2.1%), and Sizmek (SZMK +2%) are up more moderately, but still outperforming. The Nasdaq is up 0.1%.
    • With the exceptions of TubeMogul and Criteo, the group has had a rough year. Yesterday, Strategy Analytics published an analysis of the online media ops of 44 publicly-traded companies (inc. giants such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon) in which its estimated the companies' online ad sales collectively rose 24% Y/Y in 1H14.
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 19, 2014, 1:10 PM
    • Apple (AAPL -0.5%) has released its WatchKit SDK to developers, and in doing so has shared plenty of details about how Apple Watch will work. Among the big ones: For now, 3rd-party Watch apps will need to interact with complementary iPhone/iPad apps to work. Support for "fully native" apps will arrive next year; Apple doesn't say what restrictions will be placed on them.
    • Other details: 1) The 38mm version of Watch will have a display resolution of 340x272, and the 42mm version a resolution of 390x312. 2) Two types of notifications are supported: A "Short Look" that appears when a user raises his/her wrist, and a "Long Look" that provides more info. 3) Hard-pressing the screen can yield a menu with 1-4 options. 4) Images are supported; videos aren't.
    • John Gruber reports hearing the next iPhone will sport a much-improved camera. "I've heard that it's some kind of weird two-lens system where the back camera uses two lenses and it somehow takes it up into DSLR-quality imagery."
    • Apple appears to be partnering with ad tech platform owner Rubicon Project (RUBI +4.8%) to add support for programmatic (automated) ad buys to iAd. Rubicon published a PR about the deal yesterday (Google cache), but quickly pulled it. To date, iAd purchases have had to go through Apple's sales team.
    • S&P reports (after reviewing 13F filings) three of the top 10 U.S. hedge funds cut their Apple positions in Q3, and two others sold out. TechInsider reports 153 hedge funds held Apple positions at the end of Q3 (+1% Q/Q), but adds the collective value of their positions fell by $3B to $22B.
    • Update: Rubicon has confirmed its partnership with Apple.
  • Nov. 12, 2014, 5:10 PM
    • In addition to beating Q3 estimates, Rocket Fuel (NASDAQ:FUEL) is guiding for Q4 revenue of $140M-$160M; consensus is only at $140M.
    • The guidance assumes an $18M-$22M contribution from ad data management platform [x+1], which Rocket Fuel finished acquiring in September. [x+1] contributed $6M to Q3 results.
    • Active customer count stood at 1,446 at the end of Q3, up only 2 Q/Q. On the other hand, revenue from other channels, which includes mobile, social, and video grew 177% Y/Y to $16.2M (44% of revenue). Mobile alone was 30% of revenue.
    • The Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI), which counts Rocket Fuel as a client, is up 0.8% AH.
    • Q3 results, PR
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 23, 2014, 5:42 PM
    • Top gainers, as of 5:15 p.m.: VTAE +27.2%. RUBI +22.2%. KLAC +16.9%. GIMO +14.6%. MXWL +13.9%.
    • Top losers, as of 5:15 p.m.: AMZN -12.6%. UFCS -8.5%. SYNA -7.9%. P -5.8%. ABG -5.4%.
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 23, 2014, 5:30 PM
    • With a big Q3 beat in tow, The Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI) now expects 2014 revenue of $122M-$123M and EPS of -$0.06 to -$0.03, above a consensus of $118.8M and -$0.35.
    • Take rate on gross ad sales rose to 19.1% from 18.4% in Q2 and 17.1% a year ago. Ad sales related to real-time bidding (RTB) rose 75% Y/Y for the second quarter in a row.
    • Rubicon also blasted off following its Q2 beat. However, shares had largely given back those gains as of today's close.
    • Q3 results, PR
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 23, 2014, 4:19 PM
    • Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI): Q3 EPS of $0.05 beats by $0.22.
    • Revenue of $32.2M (+60.2% Y/Y) beats by $3.1M.
    • Shares +10.88% AH.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 22, 2014, 5:35 PM
  • Aug. 9, 2014, 8:38 PM
    • "Many [online] advertisers now care more about who sees their ads than where they appear," writes the Columbia Journalism Review's Steven Waldman in a column about the threat posed to Web publishers by programmatic (automated) ad buying.
    • Whereas a drug developer might have previously bought ads on popular health sites to reach potential customers, it can now use programmatic campaigns to reach them across the Web, aided by cookies that track when a user has shown an interest in particular drugs (or something related to them).
    • The upshot? Advertisers are less likely to pay a big premium for inventory on high-profile sites. Waldman: "A marketer can now reach 'New York Times readers' without ever actually advertising in The New York Times, and for less money."
    • Publishers are responding in part by embracing native ad formats such as sponsored content. But as Waldman observes, a site's image can get hurt when users conflate sponsored and organic material. "Publishers have ended up trading the one thing they had left—their credibility with readers—for a few scraps of CPM."
    • Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), increasingly using native ads to complement traditional display ads, saw a 24% Y/Y drop in display ad prices in Q2 to go with a 24% increase in ads sold. AOL, both a publisher and a programmatic ad tech provider, fared a little better in Q2.
    • eMarketer expects U.S. real-time bidding ad spend (a key part of the programmatic market) to rise to $9B in 2017 from $3.4B in 2013. At the same time, it observes many advertisers are treading cautiously for now.
    • Other Web publishers: IACI, DMD, TTGT, GKNT, WBMD
    • Ad tech firms with programmatic exposure: CRTO, FUEL, RUBI, MRIN, TRMR, YUME, TUBE
  • Jul. 30, 2014, 12:46 PM
    | Comment!
  • Jul. 30, 2014, 12:10 PM
    • In addition to soundly beating Q2 estimates, Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI) has guided for Q3 revenue of $28.5M-$29.5M and EPS of -$0.20 to -$0.17, mostly above a consensus of $26.5M and -$0.17. Full-year guidance is for revenue of $117M-$119M and EPS of -$0.34 to -$0.41, above a consensus of $112.7M and -$0.53.
    • The online ad network benefited from a 150 bps Y/Y increase in its take rate on gross ad sales to 18.4%. It also got a lift from a 75% increase in gross sales stemming from real-time bidding (RTB - automated ad purchases tied to online activity). Sales/marketing and G&A spending growth led GAAP opex to rise 72% to $35.4M.
    • Rubicon mentioned on its CC (transcript) it has landed a deal with Comcast to power a private ad-buying exchange for the cable giant's Xfinity sites. Ziff-Davis, PBS, and Move were also added as clients.
    • RTB platform owner/Rubicon client Rocket Fuel (FUEL +4.7%) is also rallying, as is mobile ad network owner Millennial Media (MM +2.9%). Millennial might also be getting a boost from Twitter's strong Q2 report; the microblogging platform gets 81% of its ad revenue from mobile, and continues to see rapid growth for its MoPub mobile ad exchange (integrates with Millennial's network).
    | Comment!
  • Jul. 29, 2014, 5:41 PM
    • Top gainers, as of 5:15 p.m.: ZLTQ +23.6%. MM +17.4%. RUBI +15.9%. ECYT +11.8%. RNG +11.0%.
    • Top losers, as of 5:15 p.m.: MMSI -11.1%. NTRI -9.4%. DWA -8.7%. IRE -6.8%. BWLD -6.4%.
  • Jul. 29, 2014, 4:46 PM
    • Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI): Q2 EPS of $0.00 beats by $0.22.
    • Revenue of $28.3M (+48.9% Y/Y) beats by $3.01M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • May. 14, 2014, 12:46 PM
    | Comment!
  • May. 13, 2014, 5:40 PM
    • Rubicon Project (RUBI): Q1 EPS of -$0.15 beats by $0.26.
    • Revenue of $23M (+38.6% Y/Y) beats by $2.72M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
RUBI vs. ETF Alternatives
Company Description
Rubicon Project Inc, provides for automated buying and selling of advertising. Its Advertising Automation Cloud provides software platform that powers marketplace for the real time trading of digital advertising between buyers and sellers.
Sector: Technology
Country: United States