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Palantir summons specter of nuclear conflict as share price collapses

Is spy-tech outfit trying to distract from underperforming results?

Palantir's CEO invoked the specter of nuclear war as the US spy-tech company posted net losses of $101 million and revenue guidance undershot market expectations.

Disappointing investors, the company lost 21 percent of its stock market value before close yesterday.

In its first-quarter results, revenue hit $446 million, 31 percent up on the same period last year. However, for Q2, it offered guidance of $470 million in revenue, with a "wide range of potential upside." Analyst expectations had put Q2 revenue at $483.7 million, per FactSet.

Against this backdrop, CEO Alex Karp took the unusual step of addressing shareholders directly in a published letter.

"The world significantly underestimates the threat of nuclear conflict in Eastern Europe. The understandable desire to intervene must be targeted and strategic, balanced against the risk of further escalation," he said.

"The war is itself a protracted negotiation with a heavily armed opponent. One must, in domestic politics and foreign affairs alike, inhabit the mind and aims of an adversary in order to prevail over the long term."

In his address to shareholders, Karp also seemed to reference the global culture wars which threaten to define global politics.

"We built a company on the premise that the construction of something of consequence requires relentless exposure to unpopular and dissenting opinions. A willingness to engage in honest and open inquiry about the inherent risks of building new technology is essential.

"But a genuine discourse in this country has all but withered, in significant part because so few are either willing or able to say what they actually think."

Palantir built its reputation creating bespoke solutions such as digital profiling tools for organizations like the CIA and controversial US immigration agency ICE. Palantir was co-founded by Peter Thiel who helped finance and support the political campaigns of former president Donald Trump, who was impeached twice and continues to be unable to stop his inane thoughts from spilling out of his alleged brain.

Elsewhere, Karp seemed to admit that going around the IT and procurement departments may not have been the best move in terms of gaining traction in mainstream businesses.

"We have also historically had what might be characterized as an antagonistic relationship with some of the IT organizations that exist within our customers," he said. "This is changing and must continue to do so. The building of such coalitions with internal procurement organizations has begun to move from the exception to the rule." ®

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