Economic uncertainty is torpedoing the US IPO market.
Palantir Technologies predicts this year could be its first profitable year. The company also said it has slowed hiring, cut stock-based payments and cloud computing investments in response to lower spending at businesses in recession.
The forecast, based on better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, sent shares of the data analytics software maker up 16 percent within hours and added nearly $3 billion to the company’s $15.6 billion market capitalization.
“As we look ahead to 2023, we will continue to exercise spending discipline … we will pace hiring while continuing to invest in areas of high priority, including our product offering, building out our go-to-market strategy and technical roles” said Chief Financial Officer David Glazer.
Palantir executives raved about AI in an interview, saying the rise of ChatGPT is proving to be a bright spot in the industry and will help its business in 2023. “There are many ways we can integrate with technologies like ChatGPT and apply those technologies to our customers’ data,” Chief Revenue Officer Ryan Taylor told the to Reutersbut did not elaborate on how Palantir would do this.
But the company’s shares rose too much given that fourth-quarter profitability was driven by bottom-line adjustments such as interest income and that the quarter itself came in line with expectations, RBC analyst Rishi Jaluria said. The company forecast 2023 revenue of between $2.18 billion and $2.23 billion, below analysts’ estimates of $2.29 billion, according to Refinitiv.
Newly-listed companies that use Palantir’s services have seen their revenues fall as economic uncertainty torpedoes the market for U.S. IPOs. This revenue in the first quarter is expected to drop by almost half, to $16 million, compared to a year earlier.
Still, a surge in defense contracts following the Russian invasion of Ukraine contributed to fourth-quarter revenue rising 18 percent to $509 million, beating estimates. During this period, Palantir secured contracts with defense contractor Lockheed Martin and the British Army.
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