Goldman Sachs upgrades the recent IPO while Citi says Sell
Palantir Technologies Inc. (PLTR) builds and deploys software platforms for the intelligence community in the United States to assist in counterterrorism investigations and operations.
It offers Palantir Gotham, a software platform for government operatives in the defense and intelligence sectors, which enables users to identify patterns hidden deep within datasets, ranging from signals intelligence sources to reports from confidential informants, as well as facilitates the handoff between analysts and operational users, helping operators plan and execute real-world responses to threats that have been identified within the platform.
The company also provides Palantir Foundry, a platform that transforms the ways organizations operate by creating a central operating system for their data; and allows individual users to integrate and analyze the data they need in one place.
The company took the unusual route of becoming a public company by directly listing it’s shares and bypassing the brokers. Shares came public around $9 and shot up to $45 a share before pulling back. There were a number of brokers who made comments about the shares today following the company’s earnings.
Palantir Technologies reported 4th Quarter December 2020 earnings of $0.07 per share on revenue of $322.1 million yesterday morning. The consensus earnings estimate was $0.02 per share on revenue of $300.4 million.
The company said it expects 2021 revenue of $1.42 billion or more. The current consensus revenue estimate is $1.41 billion for the year ending December 31, 2021.
Goldman Sachs analyst Christopher #Merwin upgraded Palantir Technologies to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $34, up from $13. Palantir reported “strong” Q4 results and its Q1 guidance called for revenue growth of 45%, while fiscal 2021 revenue guidance was for 30%-plus, Merwin tells investors in a research note. The analyst is “encouraged” to see management guide to $4B of revenue in fiscal 2025, implying a 30% annual growth from fiscal 2020. With a growing backlog of $2.8B in deal value, there is increasing visibility into the achievability of that long-term target, says Merwin.
Further, the analyst believes Palantir’s recent efforts to modularize Foundry and add channel partners like IBM “should improve product market fit” for the commercial business in the coming quarters.
Morgan Stanley analyst Keith #Weiss raised the firm’s price target on Palantir to $19 from $17, telling investors after the company’s Q4 report that Palantir’s results in FY20 showed a big expansion of existing customers, “huge leverage” in operating margins and the seeds for future distribution capability.
However, he keeps an Underweight rating on the shares as he would like to see evidence of effective investment behind the company’s opportunity to support growth and what he views as a “lofty valuation.”
Jefferies analyst Brent #Thill noted that Palantir reported a top and bottom line beat in Q4 along with “robust” large deal metrics and said it is targeting $4B or more in 2025 revenues, but that the stock remains under pressure due to Thursday’s lock-up expiry and the recent run-up that saw the stock up 35% year-to-date ahead of the report.
However, he views Palantir as “a highly unique story for long-term investors” given that he thinks its growth sustainability at significant scale, and “aggressive profitability ramp,” puts the stock “in rarified air” among software companies. Thill maintains a Buy rating on the stock, which he expects to “trend to $40,” his price target on Palantir shares.
RBC Capital analyst Matthew #Hedberg raised the firm’s price target on Palantir to $27 from $15 and keeps a Sector Perform rating on the shares.
The company ended 2020 with a “solid” set of Q4 results while forecasting acceleration and margin improvement in Q1, the analyst tells investors in a research note. Hedberg adds however that while he is positive on Palantir’s catalysts, he remains on the sidelines due to the stock’s “full valuation”.
Citi analyst Tyler #Radke keeps a Sell rating on Palantir Technologies with a $15 price target following the company’s Q4 results.
The results featured “solid” reported revenue upside, but came with “signs of growth drivers narrowing with new customers growth still lacking and Commercial revenue missing expectations,” Radke tells investors in a research note.
The new five-year revenue target of $4B “looks high,” but ultimately may be a non-event for the stock, says the analyst. He thinks the stock is overvalued and “could be particularly volatile” into the upcoming lockup on February 18.
Several insiders have sold shares into the lockup expiry on Thursday but Peter Thiel, Chairman of the Board, reported a 5% ownership of the stock.
PLTR last traded at $28.50.
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