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Palantir Rises on First-Quarter Sales Jump and Bitcoin Plans

Palantir recovers from earlier losses after posting sales that beat forecasts and announcing it will accept bitcoin as a form of payment.

Palantir Technologies  (PLTR) - Get Palantir Technologies Inc. Class A Report shares rose on Tuesday, reversing earlier steep losses, after the software company posted sales that beat analysts' forecasts and said it will accept bitcoin as payment and may include the cryptocurrency on its balance sheet.

Palantir was up 8% at $20 after the Denver-based company posted a first-quarter loss of $123.5 million, or 7 cents a share, vs. a loss of $54.3 million, or 10 cents a share, in the comparable year-earlier period. 

Investors initially zeroed in on stock compensation costs, which more than tripled during the quarter, contributing to the wider-than-expected loss. On an adjusted basis, Palantir said it earned 4 cents a share, matching analysts' forecasts.

The stock reversed course and was in positive territory by mid-morning after the company said during its earnings call that it will begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment, and that it may begin holding the crypto on its balance sheet.

"The short answer is yes," Chief Financial Officer David Glazer said in response to a question about having bitcoin or another form of cryptocurrency on its balance sheet. "We're thinking about it and we've even discussed it internally. 

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"If you take a look at our balance sheet there's $2.3 billion in cash at quarter-end including $151 million in cash flow in Q1. So it's definitely on the table from a treasury perspective as well as other investments as we look across our business and beyond," Glazer said.

The comments came after Palantir said revenue jumped 49% to $341.2 million from $229.3 million a year ago, well ahead of analysts’ forecasts of $332.2 million. U.S. commercial revenue grew 72% year over year, while U.S. government revenue grew 83%, Palantir said. 

Average revenue per customer grew to $8.1 million. In its fourth quarter report, the company said average revenue for 2020 came to $7.9 million. As of this past quarter, Palantir has 149 customers. 

For the second quarter, Palantir said it expects revenue of $360 million, up 43% from year-earlier levels, and adjusted operating margin of 23%. For the full year, it expects adjusted free cash flow "in excess of $150 million" and annual revenue growth "... of 30% or greater for 2021 through 2025."

Palantir had shot out of the gate following its initial public offering last September, with the stock surging more than 166%. The shares stumbled in February after a lockup expiration period, when insiders were permitted to sell 20% of their shares in the direct-listing IPO, and the remaining 80% were opened up for trading.