Tech billionaire Peter Thiel-backed data analytics firm Palantir Technologies signalled revenue growth would slow this year, casting a shadow on its better-than-expected quarterly results and sending its shares down nine percent.
The company forecast a revenue growth of 30 percent in 2021, slower than the 47 percent rise in 2020 when it added large government contracts, including those from the US Army and Air Force.
Known for its work with the Central Intelligence Agency and other government agencies, Palantir has also been partnering with big private sector names including Rio Tinto and IBM for data analytics.
It signed 21 contracts each worth US$5 million or more during the fourth quarter and said it expects sales in the first quarter to grow by about 45 percent from a year earlier.
Revenue from government contracts jumped 85 percent to US$190 million, while that in the commercial segment grew four percent.
Shares of the Denver-based company were down at US$28.60 after having surged more than 200 percent since its public listing.
Although the stock has been a point of discussion on WallStreetBets, a forum on Reddit popular among retail investors, some analysts have said the company’s guidance does not match up to the meteoric rise in its stock.
“We hope those of you on this call who are current investors stay with us. And those of you who prefer a more short-term focus that you choose companies that are more appropriate for you,” chief executive Alex Karp said on a conference call with analysts.
Palantir’s net loss narrowed to US$148.3 million in the quarter ended December 31 from US$159.3 million, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, it earned six cents per share, while analysts were expecting two cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Its revenue jumped to US$322.1 million, above market expectations of US$300.7 million.