UPDATED 16:23 EST / MAY 11 2021

BIG DATA

Palantir posts 49% revenue growth and higher net loss for first quarter

Palantir Technologies Inc. today reported revenue of $341 million for its first quarter ended March 31, a 49% increase from last year and above the Refinitiv consensus analyst estimate.

The company’s net loss in parallel climbed to $123 million from $54 million the year prior. That translates into adjusted earnings per share before costs such as stock compensation of four cents, in line with what analysts surveyed for the Refinitiv poll were expecting.

Palantir’s shares rose more than 9% in trading today after the early-morning report was posted.

Palantir makes software products for collecting and analyzing large amounts of data. The company generates most of its revenue from government contracts, which accounted for $208 million of its $341 million in total sales during the first quarter. Palantir’s software is used by the U.S. intelligence community and law enforcement agencies, as well as other public sector organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.K.’s National Health Service.

The company also sells analytics tools for commercial companies. Palantir says that healthcare organizations use its technology for tasks such as processing data from clinical trials, while automakers can harness it to find ways of streaming their supply chains and improve product quality. The company’s commercial business achieved revenue of $133 million in the first quarter.

Palantir’s 49% sales jump in the three months through March 31 was driven in significant part by strong U.S. demand. Revenue from U.S. government contracts increased 83% year-over-year, while sales to commercial organizations rose sharply as well, by 72%.

Palantir sees that momentum carrying over into the current quarter. The company told shareholders that it expects second-quarter revenue of $360 million, more than the $344 million consensus estimate in the Refinitiv analyst poll. Palantir previously set a goal of growing annual revenues by at least 30% every year through 2025.

The continued growth in the adoption of analytics tools among large organizations also helped boost the first quarter earnings of Qualtrics International Inc., which makes software for collecting and analyzing employee feedback. The company saw revenue jump 36% year-over-year, to $238.6 million.

Qualtrics partly credited the growth to a 35% increase in the number of customers spending more than $100,000 on its software. Shares of the company rose as much as 13% in after-hours trading on the day of its earnings report.

The number of publicly traded data processing and analytics companies could potentially increase before year’s end. SimilarWeb Ltd., a startup that helps companies measure how much traffic their competitors’ websites receive, is preparing for an initial public offering at a reported $2 billion valuation. And Confluent Inc., another startup that in turn focuses on commercializing the Kafka open-source data platform, recently revealed that it has confidentially filed for an IPO of its own. Confluent previously received a private valuation of $4.5 billion.

Photo: Cory Doctorow/Flickr

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