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Why Palantir Shares Are Up Today

By Lou Whiteman - Dec 7, 2020 at 12:11PM

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The company flexes its muscle, winning business at home and abroad.

What happened

We've seen in recent weeks that it doesn't take much to cause shares of Palantir Technologies ( PLTR 0.19% ) to jump right now. That's the case on Monday, with the stock up more than 10% on a new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) contract and an update on the company's work with Greece to support the COVID-19 response.

So what

Palantir has had a great start to life as a public company. The data analytics specialist is up more than 160% since going public in late September on investor enthusiasm about its high-tech tools that, among other things, are credited for helping spy agencies to track down Osama bin Laden.

A person touches a digital padlock icon.

Image source: Getty Images.

The stock is up big on Monday after the company reportedly won a new FDA contract to use Palantir software to help the agency conduct drug reviews. The software will help the FDA with drug approvals, including potential COVID-19 treatments.

Palantir CEO Alex Karp also joined Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on a teleconference to discuss Palantir's partnership with Greece to support COVID-19 response efforts. Since the start of the pandemic, Palantir has worked with the Greek government to help guide decisions on how to best deal with the crisis.

Now what

The FDA contract is likely the big driver of the push higher. It's good news, but some perspective is in order.

The new contract is worth $44.4 million, spread over three years. That's a positive step in the right direction, but a small drop in the bucket for a company hoping to generate $1.07 billion in revenue in 2020.

Everything with Palantir right now is amplified, including the company's valuation at more than 40 times expected annual revenue. On Monday, the company added about $1.4 billion in market capitalization based on a $44 million contract.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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