Palantir revenue jumps 49% in second quarter

Key Points
  • Palantir's revenue soared 49% from a year earlier for the second consecutive quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations.
  • The company also raised its full-year adjusted free cash flow outlook to more than $300 million, up from more than $150 million.
Palantir Technologies CEO Alex Karp arrives at the "Tech for Good" Summit in Paris, France May 15, 2019.
Charles Platiau | Reuters

Data analytics company Palantir on Thursday reported second-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations for revenue and gave upbeat guidance for the current quarter.

Shares of the company closed up 11.36%.

Here's how the company did versus analyst expectations in a Refinitiv survey:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: 4 cents vs. 4 cents expected
  • Revenue: $376 million vs. $352.3 million expected

Palantir's revenue jumped 49% year over year for the second consecutive quarter.

Palantir said it expects revenue in the current quarter to come in at $385 million, which is higher than analysts' projected $376 million. It said it now anticipates full-year adjusted free cash flow in excess of $300 million, up from in excess of $150 million. Palantir also reaffirmed that it expects annual revenue growth of 30% or greater through 2025.

What Palantir's earnings say about its value proposition
What Palantir's earnings say about its value proposition

Co-founded in 2003 by tech investors Peter Thiel and Joe Lonsdale, CEO Alex Karp and others, Palantir provides data analytics software and services to government agencies, including the Defense Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the intelligence community.

The company has increasingly sought to diversify its business beyond large government contracts by attracting more commercial customers. Palantir last month launched a subscription-based version of its data gathering and analytics technology, called Foundry for Builders, that's targeted for start-ups. It said it first signed up companies connected to former Palantir employees across industries like health care, robotics, software and fintech.

During the quarter, Palantir said U.S. commercial revenue surged 90% year over year, and its commercial customer count increased 32% from the previous quarter. Palantir is on track to more than double its commercial customer base by the end of the year, said Kevin Kawasaki, Palantir's head of business development.

The company said it added 20 net new customers in the second quarter. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, Palantir had 149 customers.

Palantir said it signed 30 deals worth $5 million or more and 21 deals worth $10 million or more.

Palantir's business has gotten a boost from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Health and Human Services in July renewed an agreement to use Palantir's software to track vaccine production, distribution and administration across the country. After using Palantir's tools to track Covid-19 spread and hospitalizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June renewed a $7.4 million one-year contract to use Palantir's software to monitor and analyze routine diseases and future outbreaks.

At the same time, it has ramped up its investments in special purpose acquisition companies, which has attracted some scrutiny. A SPAC is a blank-check company that raises money to buy a private entity through a reverse merger and take it public with the help of financing from additional investors. 

Less than 1% of Palantir's revenue in the quarter was tied to investments in these companies, Kawasaki said on an earnings call with investors.

When asked whether Palantir is "buying revenue" by making SPAC investments, Kawasaki said: "These are companies that we think we will be working with for a very long time. Further, we think that using our product is going to help them win."

The company went public last September through a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, its shares have more than doubled in value, pushing its market cap to more than $36.8 billion.

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