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This Adtech Firm Favored by Donald Trump Just Saw a ‘Yuge’ Stock Gain

Donald Trump Delivers Trade Policy Address In PennsylvaniaDonald Trump Delivers Trade Policy Address In Pennsylvania
Presumptive Republican candidate for President Donald Trump speaks to guests during a policy speech during a campaign stop at Alumisource on June 28, 2016 in Monessen, Pennsylvania. Jeff Swensen—Getty Images

Shares of Rocket Fuel got a boost on Tuesday after CNBC revealed that the campaign of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was using the company’s ad tracking software on its web site.

The stock jumped 21% to $2.55 after the CNBC report, which said Trump’s campaign was getting more sophisticated in its use of social media through the use of Rocket Fuel’s software to track web site visitors and send them targeted email messages. Other campaigns, including those of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have been using so-called ad-tech software all along, CNBC reported.

Rocket Fuel (FUEL) has struggled in recent years amid heightened competition in the ad-tech segment. The stock, which famously more than doubled when it went public in September 2013, has steadily dropped from a high of over $66 per share two years ago. Co-founder and CEO George John stepped down last year as the company struggled to become profitable.

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The company’s plummeting stock price was matched by competitors as ad-tech has largely fallen out of favor with investors. Over the past year, shares of TubeMogul (TUBE) have lost 28%, Criteo (CRTO) is down 12% and Rubicon Project (RUBI) has dropped 19%.

 

 

Rocket Fuel expanded its sales team based in Washington, D.C. specifically to target campaigns for the 2016 election season. In April, the company announced that National Media Research Planning and Placement, a leading Republican communications firm, would “run a significant percentage of its digital media” using Rocket Fuel’s software.

But election-driven business has not met expectations thus far, Citigroup analyst Mark Kelley noted after the Trump news came out.

“To date, political spend has not met expectations (which is something we heard across the board in our post 1Q16 conversations with ad tech companies) and is likely due to Donald Trump’s lower spending in comparison to other candidates,” Kelley wrote on Tuesday.