When a company’s CEO is frustrated, that’s probably not a good sign for investors. Today’s case in point is Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR) stock, which seems to be having difficulty with some government contracts as their timing can be problematic.
Furthermore, Palantir’s disappointing forward guidance could easily be a deal-breaker for prospective PLTR stock investors.
Don’t get the wrong message here. Palantir Technologies seemed to hold a great deal of promise at one time. The company, which offers data analytics tools to government entities as well as commercial clients, looked like a surefire winner in the digital age.
Lately, though, some folks are starting to poke holes in the bullish thesis for Palantir. They worry about whether the company is over-reliant on government awards. Just maybe, Palantir Technologies’ business model is far from ideal, and Palantir’s own projections point to a company that’s definitely not in growth mode.
What’s Happening with PLTR Stock?
From hyped-up to horrendous, PLTR is the poster child of pop-and-drops in the early 2020s. The shares topped out at around $40 during the meme-stock craze of early 2021, only to slide below $8 recently.
Really, those shares were never actually worth $40 or even $20. Sometimes, traders just get into euphoria mode as they seek out the next meme stock. They probably never considered that Palantir, with its too-heavy reliance on government contracts, could run into serious problems.
We’re not revealing any secrets here, as Palantir’s own CEO, Alex Karp, acknowledged the challenges of depending on government awards. By Karp’s admission, the US government “has some of our largest contracts, and they have been pushed out.”
“Pushed out” could mean a delay, or even a costly cancellation. “Sometimes, they are put off. Sometimes, they take too long for us to get them,” Karp clarified.
The CEO called the uncertainty surrounding Palantir’s government contracts “frustrating.” Without a doubt, many of the company’s long-term stakeholders are quite frustrated, as well.
Soft Guidance Casts a Shadow on Palantir Technologies
Could these “pushed out” government contracts take a toll on Palantir’s top-line results? It’s certainly possible, and the company’s own guidance suggests that Palantir Technologies may be preparing its stakeholders for financial problems.
Before delving into that, it should be noted that Palantir has a widening profitability gap. During 2022’s second quarter, Palantir Technologies sustained a $179.33 million net earnings loss. That’s certainly worse than the $138.58 million loss from the year-earlier quarter.
What seemed to bother the trading community the most, though, was Palantir’s soft third-quarter revenue guidance. Apparently, the company forecasts current-quarter revenue of $474 million to $475 million, while the analysts’ consensus estimate had called for $500 million.
Understandably, some analysts slashed their price targets on PLTR stock after observing Palantir’s earnings weakness and unambitious revenue expectations. Deutsche Bank’s Brad Zelnick changed from $11 to $8, with a “sell” rating. Citigroup analyst Tyler Radke changed from $7 to $6, with a “sell” rating, and Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss switched from $13 to $11, with an “equal weight” rating.
The Verdict: PLTR Stock Is a No-Go
The CEO’s frustration shouldn’t provide any comfort to Palantir Technologies’ struggling shareholders. As multiple analysts reduce their price targets on PLTR stock, the hope for a turnaround only continues to diminish.
It’s a shame, really, that a tech business that came to Wall Street with such high hopes, should disappoint so many stakeholders now. So, as Palantir’s government contracts get “pushed out” and the company’s financial hole deepens, it’s perfectly fine to find another business to bet on.
On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.