Palantir cuts revenue forecast, says govt contracts timing 'uncertain'

FILE PHOTO: The logo of U.S. software company Palantir Technologies is seen in Davos, Switzerland, May 22, 2022. Picture taken May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) -Palantir Technologies Inc lowered its annual revenue forecast to below market estimates after the data analytics software company reported a surprise quarterly loss on Monday, sending its shares down 15%.

The company had to temper its revenue forecast as the timing of some government contracts remained uncertain, Chief Executive Alexander Karp said, calling the uncertainty "frustrating."

The large size of the government awards and the long-drawn procurement procedure make the contracts so unpredictable, Chief Financial Officer David Glazer said. Meanwhile, the company also forecast third-quarter revenue below Street estimates.

Palantir was co-founded by billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel in 2003 to help with U.S. counter-terrorism operations, but has since diversified to commercial business, and now derives almost half its sales from the private sector.

But the company's international business, which makes up roughly 40% of its sales, was hit by foreign exchange headwinds, Glazer said.

RBC Capital Markets Rishi Jaluria said it could be tough for Palantir to sell big deals with long sales cycles to corporations as businesses are increasingly scrutinizing their IT budgets amid macro uncertainty.

Palantir expects total revenue for the full year between $1.9 billion and $1.902 billion, or a growth of about 23%, compared with the 30% or more growth forecast earlier. Analysts had expected revenue of $1.96 billion.

On an adjusted basis, the company lost 1 cent per share in the second quarter, which was in part due to Palantir's investments in SPACs, according to Glazer. Analysts on average had expected a profit of 3 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data.

Quarterly revenue rose 26% to $473 million.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Vinay Dwivedi and Shinjini Ganguli)

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