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Why Magnite Stock Lost 14% in July

What happened

Shares of Magnite (NASDAQ: MGNI) were pulling back last month as a pair of news items weighed on the ad tech stock even as the broad market rallied.

First, Netflix made a surprising move, choosing Microsoft as its advertising partner, which includes using the tech giant's own ad tech platform, likely blocking out pure plays like Magnite. Then, the following week, Snapchat parent Snap plunged on a dismal second-quarter earnings report, sending digital advertising stocks down broadly.

According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Magnite stock finished July down 14%. As you can see from the chart, it was a volatile month for the ad tech company.

MGNI data by YCharts

So what

Magnite provides a supply-side platform (SSP) for digital advertising, meaning it helps publishers programmatically optimize their digital ad space.

The stock's first major pullback last month came on July 6, when Needham analyst Laura Martin lowered her price target from $25 to $13, saying her research found that soft ad spending in Europe in Q1 had trickled into the U.S. in Q2, and that ad tech companies had told her that spending had weakened. Martin maintained a buy rating on Magnite, but the stock fell 10.5% that day.

Shares continued to slide in the subsequent days and tumbled again on July 14 in the aftermath of the Netflix-Microsoft partnership, falling 10.4% to its low point of the month as analysts weighed in on the deal's impact. Craig-Hallum analyst Jason Kreyer lowered his price target on Magnite from $25 to $16, saying that the deal could make Microsoft into a new competitor. Meanwhile, Stephens analyst Nicholas Zangler said the deal potentially leaves "no economics" for programmatic platforms like Magnite and The Trade Desk, missing out on a likely bonanza in the Connected TV market.

Finally, after a brief recovery, the stock pulled back again, falling 7% on July 22 after Snap's earnings report was perceived as a warning for the digital advertising industry. The social media stock posted just 13% revenue growth in the quarter, below its already-slashed forecast, and declined to offer guidance for the third quarter, citing a challenging macroeconomic environment.

Now what

Magnite shares have surged in August, up 22% through Aug. 8, though there's been no company-specific news out on the ad tech platform. Instead, improving economic data could be giving a lift to the stock, especially after last Friday's jobs report, as declining fears of a recession are bullish for the advertising industry.

The company will give investors more insight into its performance when it reports second-quarter earnings after hours on Aug. 9. Analysts are expecting revenue growth of 24.2% to $124.7 million, though bottom-line estimates were unavailable. Expect the stock to swing one way or the other, as there's a lot of uncertainty in the ad tech industry these days.

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Jeremy Bowman has positions in Magnite, Inc, Netflix, Snap Inc., and The Trade Desk. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Magnite, Inc, Microsoft, Netflix, and The Trade Desk. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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