The CEO of Reddit darling Palantir was the highest paid chief executive of a public company last year

Alex Karp Palantir
Palantir, under CEO Alex Karp’s leadership, is continuing its push into life sciences after a raft of pandemic-related government deals.

Alexander Karp, the CEO of Reddit favorite Palantir, was the highest paid chief executive of a public company last year, new survey data shows.

The CEO raked in $1.1 billion in total compensation in 2020, including $798 million in options, $296 million in restricted stock, and $1.1 million in salary, according to the company’s 2020 annual proxy statement.

Data from Payscale shows the average Palantir employee makes $123,000 per year, meaning CEO Alex Karp’s total compensation in 2020 was roughly 8,943 times greater than that of his average worker.

Palantir’s co-founder and president Steven Cohen also received an epic pay package from the data mining company in 2020, receiving some $192 million, compared to $16.1 million in 2019, filings show.

In its proxy statement, Palantir said senior executive compensation is “designed to attract, retain, and motivate our leadership team in a highly competitive technology talent market while simultaneously aligning executive interests with those of our stockholders.”

Palantir is a data mining powerhouse that was founded by Peter Thiel, Nathan Gettings, Joe Lonsdale, Stephen Cohen, and Alex Karp in 2003. The company generates roughly half of its revenue from government sources and recently inked contracts with the Centers for Disease Control and US Special Operations Command. Palantir also provides services to clients like IBM, Amazon, and Airbus.

CEO Alex Karp is known for his wild hair, brightly colored wardrobe, and for his time pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy before starting Palantir. In 2021, Karp has been selling shares to lock in profits from his record compensation package. This year alone, the CEO has cashed out $309,906,961 worth of Palantir stock, according to SEC filings.

The second-highest-paid CEO in the world in 2020, DoorDash’s Tony Xu, raked in $413 million in total compensation in 2020, less than half of Karp’s earnings, according to a comprehensive survey of the 200 highest-paid chief executives at public companies conducted for The New York Times by Equilar.

In 2020, CEOs in the Equilar survey earned an incredible 274 times the pay of their median employee and CEO pay jumped 14% year-over-year in 2020 amidst the pandemic.

Just 13 female CEOs made Equilar’s list of the 200 top paid chief execs, with AMD’s Dr. Lisa Su coming in as the highest-paid woman with a total compensation package of $40 million.

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Hedge-fund titan Dan Loeb exited his Palantir trade, made a big bet in a newly public company, and trimmed big tech stocks in the first quarter of 2021

Dan Loeb
  • Dan Loeb exited his Palantir position in the first quarter, selling 2,356,991 shares of the big data company, securities filings show.
  • The Third Point chief also trimmed back his shares of Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook.
  • Loeb told investors in a letter earlier this month that his fund returned 11% in the first quarter of 2021.
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Billionaire investor Dan Loeb exited his Palantir trade, made a large bet in a newly public company, and trimmed some of his big-tech holdings in the first quarter of 2021.

Third Point securities filings for the period show that Loeb exited his Palantir position, selling 2,356,991 shares of the big-data company. The company’s stock is down nearly 13% year-to-date as investors rotate into stocks that hinge on an economic recovery.

Loeb added 41,500,000 shares of Paysafe, a British payments firm that went public via a special purpose acquisition company during the quarter. The company is his fifth largest holding. His eighth largest holding is a new position in CoStar, a commercial real estate company.

The Third Point chief said in a letter to investors earlier this month that his flagship fund gained 11% in the first quarter, outperforming the S&P 500.

Loeb said that one of his best-performing investments last quarter was Upstart. The fund first invested in Upstart at a $145 million valuation about six years ago. It now owns roughly 13.3 million shares for a value of around $1.7 billion following the AI-powered lender’s IPO in December. Upstart is the fund’s top holding.

Loeb also trimmed back on some of his big tech stocks. He slimmed down his positions in Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook, but added 300,000 shares of Microsoft.

Loeb also exited his positions in Pinterest, Adobe, Salesforce, Alibaba, Nike, and DoorDash.

The activist investor said that he’s bullish on stocks and the US economy in his investor letter, citing ample liquidity in markets, loose monetary and fiscal policy, and a supportive Federal Reserve.

Read more: UBS says to buy these 42 ‘new momentum’ stocks that are poised to outperform in a rising inflation environment

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Palantir climbs 9% in volatile trading after 1st-quarter earnings report

Alexander Karp Palantir
CEO Alex Karp.

Palantir snapped a 10-day losing streak on Tuesday, climbing as much as 9%, after the company reported first-quarter earnings.

The data-analytics company reported revenue of $341.2 million for the quarter, exceeding Wall Street’s $332.5 million forecast.

Heading into Tuesday, Palantir shares had plunged 23% over a 10-day period amid a broader tech sell-off.

But not all investors are straying from the stock. Cathie Wood’s Ark Innovation ETF scooped up over 1 million shares of Palantir on Monday, while her Ark Next Generation Innovation ETF bought 294,177 shares, fund filings show.

Further, on the company’s Tuesday earnings call, chief financial officer David Glazar said Palantir would consider putting bitcoin on its balance sheet, and he said they accept bitcoin as payment.

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Palantir climbs 9% in volatile trading after mixed 1st-quarter earnings report

Alexander Karp Palantir
CEO Alex Karp.

  • Palantir snapped a 10-day losing streak after reporting mixed first-quarter earnings.
  • The company beat top-line revenue forecasts, but fell short of consensus profit estimates.
  • CFO David Glazer said Palantir accept bitcoin as payment, and has discussed adding it to the firm’s balance sheet.
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Palantir snapped a 10-day losing streak on Tuesday, climbing as much as 9%, after the company reported mixed first-quarter earnings.

The data-analytics company reported a loss of 7 cents a share, which was deeper than the consensus estimate of 3 cents. However, revenue of $341.2 million for the quarter exceeded Wall Street’s $332.5 million forecast.

Heading into Tuesday, Palantir shares had plunged 23% over a 10-day period amid a broader tech sell-off.

But not all investors are straying from the stock. Cathie Wood’s Ark Innovation ETF scooped up over 1 million shares of Palantir on Monday, while her Ark Next Generation Innovation ETF bought 294,177 shares, fund filings show.

Further, on the company’s Tuesday earnings call, chief financial officer David Glazar said Palantir would consider putting bitcoin on its balance sheet, and he said they accept bitcoin as payment.

Screen Shot 2021 05 11 at 9.37.47 AM
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Palantir jumps 6% after securing 5-year contract with National Nuclear Security Administration

Palantir
Palantir logo on New York Stock Exchange.

  • Palantir rose 5.9% Monday after securing a five-year contract with the National Nuclear Security Administration.
  • Palantir will configure an operating system that will integrate data for the NNSA’s safety analytics project.
  • The data-mining company is down 2.04% year-to-date after a lockup expiration weighed on shares.
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Shares of Palantir jumped 5.9% to as high as $24.45 a share Monday after securing a five-year contract with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

The data surveillance company announced it was selected by the NNSA to provide its Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations with a platform for data-driven decision-making in an agreement worth up to $89.9 million for up to five years.

Palantir will configure an operating system that will integrate data for the NNSA’s safety analytics project. This is Palantir’s first contract with the NNSA, a semi-autonomous agency within the US Department of Energy.

Shares of Palantir are down 2.04% year-to-date. After hitting new record highs in February, the data company has pared back gains amid a lockup expiration that’s prompted profit-taking from company insiders.

The NNSA is one of many government agencies that utilize Palantir’s software. In December, Palantir won a three-year contract with the FDA to help the agency approve drugs and monitor the safety of items like hand sanitizer. The data company also works with the US Health and Human Services Department, along with other agencies.

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Cathie Wood’s Ark Innovation ETF added 1.2 million shares of Palantir as the stock slipped to its lowest price in nearly 4 months

cathie wood ceo ark invest profile 2x1

Cathie Wood’s flagship fund bought the dip in Palantir on Wednesday, ETF records show.

Wood’s Ark Innovation ETF added roughly 1.2 million shares of Palantir as the stock sank to $21.88, its lowest closing price since November 23.

As of Wednesday’s close, the exchange-traded fund holds 10.8 million shares of Palantir worth $251 million. The data surveillance company makes up 1.07% of the Ark Innovation ETF.

Shares of Palantir closed down nearly 6% on Wednesday and continued to slide in premarket trading Thursday but reversed course after the opening bell. Palantir jumped as high as 1.9% to $22.30 Thursday morning.

The data company has fallen 17% in the last month amid a lockup expiration that’s prompted profit-taking from company insiders.

In a CNBC interview in February, Wood explained that her Palantir trade is a long-term bet. She also praised CEO Alex Karp’s plan to forfeit short-term profits and invest aggressively in the future.

“It’s exactly how we invest. We want our companies to invest aggressively. We don’t want profits now,” the investing titan told CNBC.

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Palantir falls, extending slide to over 45% since hitting a record-high share price in January

Palantir
Palantir logo on New York Stock Exchange.

  • Palantir stock sank as much as 14% on Friday before mounting a slight recovery.
  • The fall extends the big data firm’s slide to over 45% since hitting a record high share price on Jan. 27.
  • Despite the fall, Cathie Wood’s ARK ETFs have continued to add exposure as the share price pulled back. 
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Palantir stock sank as much as 14% on Friday continuing its downward spiral since hitting record highs of $39 per share on Jan 27.

The Denver-based big data firm is now down more than 45% in a little over a month.

Palantir’s recent lockup expiration that released some 80% of the company’s shares to trade on the open market led to significant insider sales which have hurt the stock in recent weeks.

A surprise quarterly loss in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings results released in mid-February didn’t help either.

And now tech stocks are selling off amid rising Treasury yields as investors rotate out of the highly valued tech sector to more cyclical value names in financials and energy.

Despite the negative news, some institutional investors are using the fall in share prices as a buying opportunity. Two of Cathie Wood’s ARK exchange-traded funds added over 2.6 million shares of Palantir on Wednesday.

The purchase followed a February addition of some 6.8 million shares of the big data firm for Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF and ARK Next Generation Internet ETF.

Palantir also continues to ink contracts with big names like 3M and IBM.

On Friday the company signed yet another deal, this time with Amazon Web Services to provide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems “that enables rapid integration and analysis of data” for customers.

Goldman analysts argued Palantir’s recent quarterly results showed signs of “sustainable growth” and issued a “buy” rating and $34 price target for the big data firm. The analysts noted the significant backlog of deals in their report, some of which we have seen go through over the last month.

Overall though, analysts have become increasingly bearish on Palantir, often citing its stretched valuation. The company holds three “buy” ratings, three “neutral” ratings, and five “sell” ratings from analysts.

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Cathie Wood’s Ark ETFs added over 2.6 million shares of Palantir on Wednesday amid falling share prices

Cathie Wood
Cathie Wood is the CEO and chief investment officer of ARK Invest, which runs three of the highest-returning stock ETFs of the last three years.

  • Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF and ARK Next Generation Internet ETF added 2.6 million shares of Palantir on Wednesday.
  • At Wednesday’s closing price the shares were worth over $62.7 million.
  • The move continues a trend of buying the dip in big tech names for ETFs run by the famed fund manager.
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Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) and ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) picked up a combined 2,658,800 shares of Palantir on Wednesday amid falling share prices.

At Wednesday’s closing price of $23.59, the shares were worth roughly $62.7 million.

The move made Palantir the 37th largest holding of the ARK Innovation ETF and the 20th largest holding of the ARK Next Generation Internet ETF.

Palantir’s stock has slumped in recent week, after a lockup expiration and a surprise quarterly loss led to considerable insider profit taking at the big data firm. Share prices have fallen over 26% in the past month and a recent tech stock pullback hasn’t helped.

The Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 ETF, which tracks tech names in the Nasdaq, has fallen nearly 10% since the beginning of February. Much of the move down was caused by a bond sell-off that rocked markets last week, something Cathie Wood said she was “very comfortable” with given her funds’ long-term bias.

Wood has been using the recent tech rout to ‘buy the dip’ in many of her favorite names. The fund manager known as ‘money tree’ doubled down on her Tesla bet (1) (2) amid falling share prices at the EV maker, and now she’s taking another bite at Palantir.

Wood’s big Palantir buy follows a trend for the ARK Innovation ETF and ARK Next Generation Internet ETF which acquired a combined 6.8 million shares of Palantir in February.

Despite Palantir’s recent slide, a number of analysts still believe in the company’s prospects. Goldman Sachs analysts last month upgraded Palantir to a buy and placed a $34 price target on the firm after earnings.

Analysts, led by Christopher D. Merwin, CFA, argued Palantir now has a clear path to “sustainable growth” as the company continues to win contracts for their Foundry, Gotham, and Apollo software.

Palantir traded up 4.87% during premarket hours on Thursday.

PLTR chart
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Palantir sinks 13% as filings show 3 top executives offloaded 2.7 million shares following lockup expiration

Palantir

  • Palantir stock slid 13% on Tuesday as insiders take advantage of a lockup expiration to offload shares of the big data company.
  • Co-founder Stephen Cohen and two other top executives sold 2.7 million shares of Palantir since the lockup expired on February 18.
  • The move comes as the price of Palantir stock continues to fall from Jan. 27 highs of over $39 per share.
  • Watch Palantir trade live here.

Palantir stock sank as much as 13% on Tuesday after regulatory filings showed the company’s co-founder Stephen Cohen and two other top executives offloaded 2.7 million shares.

SEC filings revealed (1) (2) (3) the trio took advantage of Palantir’s recent lockup expiration selling shares in the $25-$30 price range on February 18, 19, and 22.

Stephen Cohen is a computer scientist who founded Palantir in 2003 with the help of Peter Thiel, Nathan Gettings, Joe Lonsdale, and Alex Karp. The sales by Cohen continue a trend at Palantir of insiders cashing out on the company’s historic run.

Palantir’s stock rose over 300% from $9.50 at the end of its first day of trading to over $39 per share on Jan 27. Since then, the company has retraced some of those gains, though insiders are still cashing in.

Just a month after Palantir went public last year, CEO Alex Karp and co-found Peter Thiel sold a combined 41.45 million shares, for more than $400 million.

Meanwhile, an SEC filing released on Friday showed Peter Thiel sold roughly 20 million shares of Palantir between $25-$26 per share after converting class B common stock into class A common stock.

Still, according to data from the Wall Street Journal, over the last six months there have been $136 million worth of awards and purchases of Palantir stock from insiders versus just $38 million in sales, while big-time investors keep adding shares as well.

Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest ETFs acquired roughly 6.8 million shares of Palantir last week as the stock pulled back.

The company also was recently given a fresh “buy” rating from analysts at Goldman Sachs who cited a path to “sustainable growth” as the reason they like the stock.

Palantir traded down 10% as of 9:52AM E.T. on Tuesday.

Palantir chart
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Palantir slumps as a lockup expiration opens 80% of its shares for trading

Palantir 1
Palantir logo on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • Palantir’s stock sank on Thursday as a lockup expiration allowed 80% of the company’s shares to trade on the open market.
  • Citi analyst Tyler Radke warned of a potential fall due to the lockup expiration in a note to clients in January.
  • Cathie Wood, CEO of Ark Invest, said she still believes Palantir is headed in the right direction as it spends on innovation.
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Palantir’s stock sank on Thursday after a lockup expiration freed some 80% of the company’s shares to trade on the open market. The stock was down as much as nearly 7% shortly after the opening bell. 

Palantir had seen its share price more than triple since going public before a surprise earnings loss on Tuesday hurt momentum. Still, the company’s stock was up roughly 185% over the last six months prior to Thursday’s fall.

When the Denver-based firm went public via a direct listing back in September, early investors were forced to hold their shares due to a lockup clause. Now that the clause has expired, it means a number of big investors in Palantir could be looking to cash out amid the recent rally in the share price. If they do, it could drive the stock down significantly.

Citi analyst Tyler Radke warned about such an event back in January. The analyst downgraded Palantir to “sell” in a note to clients, claiming the Big Data company’s high valuation, decelerating growth, and lock-up expiration could lead to a sell-off.

Some big-time Palantir investors have already said they “will continue to sell shares as permitted.”

Soros Fund Management, which revealed in November it began investing in Palantir in 2012 and owned 18.46 million shares at one time, has said it will continue to divest from the Big Data firm.

“SFM does not approve of Palantir’s business practices,” the firm said in a statement last year. “SFM made this investment at a time when the negative social consequences of big data were less understood. SFM would not make an investment in Palantir today.”

Palantir still has a bevy of supporters, including numerous analysts. Goldman Sachs analysts more than doubled their price target to $34 per share for the Big Data firm after Tuesday’s earnings, citing a path to “sustainable growth.”

Another big Palantir supporter is Cathie Wood, CEO of Ark Invest.

In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Wood said Palantir’s CEO Alex Karp was “speaking our language” in the quarterly conference call and that the company’s aggressive investments are the right path forward. Sacrificing near-term profitability for long-term growth is a net positive. according to Wood.

The CEO argued companies “have not been spending enough on innovation” and praised Palantir for its “refreshing attitude.”

“We don’t want profits now, we want them to invest aggressively,” Wood said.

Palantir stock traded at $25.93 as of 9:53AM E.T. on Thursday.

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