What happened

Shares of Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR), which had drifted lower for most of this week, caught a big updraft on Friday and are flying 16.4% higher as of 1:45 p.m. EST.

Investors appear to be responding to an announcement from Palantir yesterday, in which the government IT contractor provided details on its upcoming inaugural Demo Day to be held at 4:30 p.m. EST on Jan. 26.  

Arrow angles up on a green stock chart

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

At this event, Palantir plans to demonstrate to the public for the first time ever "the latest developments to its software platforms, Foundry and Gotham," giving ordinary investors a chance to see "how Palantir's commercial and government customers -- including manufacturers, defense agencies, and others -- use its software."

One can imagine how an event like this might increase interest in Palantir's products, and in Palantir stock. But on top of that, the company also noted in its announcement that "in Q4 2020, Apollo managed 150,000+ upgrades per week across environments, up from 40,000+ upgrades per week in Q2 2020."

Now what

While not stated in terms of dollars and cents, revenue or earnings, that last line of Palantir's event announcement speaks to the astounding growth in sales volume, at least, of Palantir's projects. This is a nearly fourfold increase that the company describes -- and not just year over year, but within the same fiscal year.

And reading it, I can only presume that investors are wondering (as I know I am) what that increase might translate into on a year-over-year basis. For context, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Palantir booked revenue of $743 million in 2019, while analysts are forecasting that full-year 2020 sales might amount to $1.07 billion.

The information Palantir let slip in its inaugural Demo Day suggests the true number of Palantir's sales might be much larger than that.

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.