Palantir Rallies on Sales Forecast, Embrace of Bitcoin
(Bloomberg) — Palantir Technologies Inc. expects sales to grow 43% in the second quarter, showing new distribution deals are putting its data analysis software into the hands of more customers.Revenue will reach $360 million in the period ending in June, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Shares gained 9.4% to close at $20.21 in New York.With more cash flowing in, the Denver-based company said it’s embracing a newer form of currency: Bitcoin. Palantir accepts customer payments in Bitcoin and is debating whether to use company cash to purchase the asset, Chief Financial Officer David Glazer said on a conference call with analysts. Such a move would follow similar ones by Square Inc. and Tesla Inc., which helped drive a surge in Bitcoin prices.The results provided some signs of encouragement after a prolonged slump for the company. At the close of trading Monday, the shares had reached their lowest point in almost six months, reflecting a sharp turn away from technology stocks by investors worldwide over concerns about inflation.Co-founders Peter Thiel and Alex Karp started Palantir with a focus on providing tools and consulting to the U.S. and allied governments. Palantir has overhauled its software in recent years to court more businesses and lower prices for customers.The company has placed a great deal of emphasis on growth, which shows in the results. In the first quarter, revenue increased 49% to $341 million, beating estimates.However, Palantir said compensation costs ballooned, contributing to a loss in the first quarter that was wider than expected. The loss was 7 cents a share as stock-based compensation more than tripled in the period that ended in March.Palantir said it signed 11 new commercial customers during the quarter and invested in two customers with long term potential: Sarcos Robotics and aviation startup Lilium. Chief Operating Officer Shyam Sankar said both companies built operations around Palantir’s Foundry software “from day zero.” “Manufacturing is a huge focus for us and one of deep strength,” he said.New customers, including Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, drove first-quarter sales, along with expanded agreements with existing customers such as 3M Co., BP Plc and the mining company Rio Tinto Plc.Palantir expanded its small sales team during the previous quarter, bringing on 50 sales people, and struck partnerships with International Business Machines Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd. to re-sell its technology and with Amazon.com Inc.’s Web Services to support it.The company maintained an earlier forecast for annual revenue growth of 30% or more through 2025. Palantir reported U.S. government revenue grew 83% in the first quarter, while sales from U.S. businesses increased 72%. It didn’t disclose the global breakdown of the two business divisions.(Updates with executive comments starting in the third paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.