Here’s Why Polen Capital Sold its Trade Desk (TTD) Stake

Polen Capital, an investment management firm, published its “Polen U.S. SMID Company Growth Composite” first quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A return of 2.35% was delivered by the fund for the first quarter of 2021, trailing its Russell 2500 Growth benchmark that delivered a 2.49% gain for the same period. You can view the fund’s top 5 holdings to have a peek at their top bets for 2021.

Polen Capital, in its Q1 2021 investor letter, mentioned The Trade Desk, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTD), and shared their insights on the company. The Trade Desk, Inc. is a California, United States-based software company that currently has a $27.6 billion market capitalization. Since the beginning of the year, TTD delivered a -27.41% return, while its 12-month gains are up by 97.62%. As of May 26, 2021, the stock closed at $581.47 per share.

Here is what Polen Capital has to say about The Trade Desk, Inc. in its Q1 2021 investor letter:

“The Trade Desk (TTD) is a company that we sold recently only due to our market cap mandate, to which we are committed. With the stock having pulled back nearly 30% off its highs, which was disproportionate relative to the overall Portfolio and the Index, we decided to buy it back.

TTD operates the largest programmatic advertising platform that enables data-driven digital advertising for ad agencies and brands.

We see a massive change occurring where more and more media consumption is going digital. In addition, consumer media behavior is much more fragmented than before, and it is harder for companies to reach the right consumers in the right places. Programmatic advertising/ad-buying helps them better connect with their targeted consumers.

Digital media is bought in an automated fashion, driven by machines, and the advertiser–not the publisher–gets to choose what impressions they want to buy. This helps with reach and scale by enabling companies to reach more consumers and engage with them across different touchpoints with ads that are more relevant to them.

TTD also offers more analytics that helps customers make decisions and measure the results. We think this is the future of advertising and media. TTD, in our view, is a stand-out in the ad tech space, having potentially cracked the code to scaling this business where others before struggled. We believe management has also demonstrated skill balancing growth and profitability in the business, which is unusual to find for something growing at such a rapid rate. COVID has had an accelerating impact on TTD’s business, and we think its future remains bright.”


Our calculations show that The Trade Desk, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTD) does not belong in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. As of the end of the first quarter of 2021, The Trade Desk, Inc. was in 35 hedge fund portfolios. TTD delivered a -25.55% return in the past 3 months.

The top 10 stocks among hedge funds returned 231.2% between 2015 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 Index ETFs by more than 126 percentage points. We know it sounds unbelievable. You have been dismissing our articles about top hedge fund stocks mostly because you were fed biased information by other media outlets about hedge funds’ poor performance. You could have doubled the size of your nest egg by investing in the top hedge fund stocks instead of dumb S&P 500 ETFs. Here you can watch our video about the top 5 hedge fund stocks right now. All of these stocks had positive returns in 2020.

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Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.