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Palantir Q2 revenue forecast below estimates; expects Ukraine war to boost growth

(Reuters) - Palantir Technologies Inc forecast second-quarter revenue below Wall Street expectations on Monday, indicating slowing sales growth, as the data analytics software firm ramps up its salesforce to sign more deals amid rising competition.

However, the company, known for its work with the U.S. Army and the Central Intelligence Agency, said it sees a "wide range" of potential upside to its forecast driven by opportunities arising from "developing geopolitical events", with the Ukraine war likely to boost defense spending by governments.

But slowing revenue growth at the software maker's government business, which rose 16% in the first quarter, also raised concerns.

On the Europe crisis, Chief Operating Officer Shyam Sankar said nothing as a result of the war is reflected in the first quarter, but Palantir has been working and investing in anticipation of contract awards from governments and expects "marginal impact" in the second quarter and more growth beyond that.

Analysts have raised concerns over Palantir's large dependence on government contracts and so, the company, which only provides its software to the United States and "its allies", has shifted its focus on signing more deals with commercial customers and has been ramping up its sales force.

The company posted first-quarter revenue of $446.4 million, above Refinitiv IBES estimates of $443.4 million, driven by strength in its U.S. commercial business. However, it forecast weaker margins on increased sales and marketing spend.

The company forecast adjusted operating margin of 20% for the current quarter, compared with 31% last year.

Net loss narrowed to $101.4 million, or 5 cents per share, from $123.5 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company forecast second-quarter revenue of $470 million, implying a growth of just 25% year-over-year, compared with 49% growth a year earlier. Analysts on average expected a revenue of $483.9 million.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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