Newly-public Palantir reports its earnings for Q3 this week, its first call as a public company. Here’s what you can expect from Peter Thiel’s big data company.
What does Palantir do?
Palantir is a software company that specializes in big data. Essentially, it allows its customers to operate on massive amounts of data in order to glean solutions and actionable insights. It has two main offerings: the Gotham platform, which specializes in government and defense contracts, and the Foundry platform, which has more commercial applications.
The company’s customers are predominantly governments, with a big portion of its revenues coming from defense contracts. Just recently, it penned a deal with the Department of Defense to provide research and development for the Army Research Laboratory worth $91 million, and it has said many organizations have been using Palantir in their response to COVID-19.
There is a significant amount of controversy around the business due to the nature of its work and its leadership. Co-founder Peter Thiel’s formerly close relationship with Donald Trump put him on the opposite end of the political spectrum to the rest of Silicon Valley and the company found itself at odds with California’s innovation hub, so much so that it’s actually moving to Colorado. CEO Alex Karp has some scathing words on the divide: “The engineering elite of Silicon Valley may know more than most about building software,” Karp wrote. “But they do not know more about how society should be organized or what justice requires. Our company was founded in Silicon Valley. But we seem to share fewer and fewer of the technology sector’s values and commitments.”
Due to the nature of its business and the primary source of its revenue, it’s impossible to separate Palantir from politics, and Peter Thiel’s decision to distance himself from Donald Trump for his re-election seems significant. With the stock soaring 16% on Friday it looks like investors see no impediment to Palantir’s prospects under a new president, although this week’s earnings will paint a more complete picture of what the company has in store.
When will Palantir report its earnings?
Palantir reports its earnings for Q3 2020 on Thursday, November 12th at 5 pm Eastern Time. It will be the company’s first earnings call as a public entity.
How can I listen to Palantir’s earnings?
To listen to the call and to access the transcript, as well as the shareholder’s letter and the financial statements for the quarter, all you need to do is go to Palantir’s investor relations page.
What to expect from the call
With its short life as a public company, there are not as many analysts covering this stock as you would expect for a name that garners so many headlines. However, from the seven reported by CNN, they are expecting Palantir to turn a profit for the first time with EPS of $0.02 a share. This would represent a quarterly growth of over 100%. In terms of revenue, analysts project an 11% increase from the previous quarter to $279 million.
In terms of the call itself, expect a lot of the call to revolve around the current political climate. As Joe Biden is now the president-elect, how will this affect Palantir’s relationship with the U.S. government, and what plans, if any, will it have in dealing with a Democratic presidency? You can also expect a lot of questions to fall into Palantir’s COVID tracking capabilities mentioned earlier, as the virus’s second wave is making its presence felt across the globe.
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