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Palantir Posts Surprise Fourth-Quarter Loss but Stronger Sales

Palantir Technologies posts a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss even as sales jump to both private businesses and governments.

Palantir Technologies  (PLTR) - Get Palantir Technologies Inc. Class A Report on Tuesday posted a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss even as sales topped forecasts amid a host of government and private business contracts.  

Denver-based Palantir posted a net loss of $148.3 million, or 8 cents a share, vs. a loss of $159.3 million, or 29 cents a share, in the comparable year-earlier period. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting a loss of 3 cents a share.

The company said it incurred a loss from operations of $156.6 million, which included $241.8 million in stock-based compensation and $18.9 million in related employer payroll taxes. Excluding the adjustments, income from operations was $104.1 million.

Revenue was $322 million, up 40% from $229.3 million a year ago and ahead of analysts’ forecasts of $300 million. New contracts in the fourth quarter included Rio Tinto  (RIO) - Get Rio Tinto Plc Report, PG&E  (PCG) - Get Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Report, BP  (BP) - Get BP p.l.c. Report, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.K.’s National Hospital Service, or NHS.

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Average revenue per customer was $7.9 million, up 41% year over year, while average revenue from the company’s top 20 customers was $33.2 million, up 34%. In the fourth quarter, Palantir said it signed 21 contracts each worth $5 million or more in total contract value, including 12 contracts each worth $10 million or more in total contract value.

For the first quarter of 2021, Palantir said it expects year-over-year revenue growth of 45%. It estimated fiscal 2021 year-over-year revenue growth of greater than 30%.

Shares of Palantir were up nearly 7% before the company’s earnings release after receiving a number of mentions on Reddit boards, including WallStreetBets. Following the results, the shares were down 6.77% at $29.75.