Rubicon Projects Stock Plunges As Downbeat Outlook Prompts Multiple Downgrades

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Rubicon Project Inc.'s stock plunged 32% in active morning trade Wednesday, putting on track for the biggest one-day drop since it went public in November 2013, after the cloud-based advertising exchange's downbeat profit outlook prompted multiple analyst downgrades. Volume was about 4 million shares, or already nearly eight times the full-day average. RBC Capital analyst Andrew Bruckner cut his rating to sector perform, after being at outperform since May 2014. "We were on the wrong side of this one," Bruckner wrote in a note to clients. "[Rubicon] is beginning a meaningful business transition since it has encountered the 'perfect storm' of a quicker-than-expected slowdown in desktop display advertising coupled with a faster-than-expected pick up in header bidding." Boenning & Scattergood downgraded Rubicon to neutral from outperform and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey also cut its rating to neutral. Rubicon reported late Tuesday earnings that beat expectations, as it has every quarter since it went public, but it's outlook for the current quarter and full year were well below analyst projections, according to FactSet.

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