For weeks, Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR) has been holding steady, at prices between $15 and $20 per share. The sideways movement for PLTR stock makes sense amid the bull versus bear debate. Bulls think recent price action benefits this popular AI software play. As one Seeking Alpha commentator put it, “this dip is a gift.”
Bears see “buy the dip” as the absolute last course of action you should take with Palantir. In their view, the stock has been boosted by “AI hype” and is ripe for a downfall as it subsides. But while both sides make valid points, it’s worth nothing that it may just take one small thing to happen in order to settle this debate, and send this stock soaring once again. Here’s why.
PLTR Stock and the Substantive Bull and Bear Cases
At first, it may seem like those bullish on Palantir are merely buying into the “hope and hype” about the AI growth trend, and those bearish on PLTR are blindly fading this hype. However, there is ample substance to both arguments.
To back their argument, PLTR stock bulls can point to the initial success with Palantir’s Artificial Intelligence Platform. This platform has been gaining customers at a rapid clip, with the number of customers recently rising by 50%. That’s not all. As seen in Q3 results, customer growth overall (34%) has been outpacing revenue growth.
While not for certain, this may suggest that revenue and earnings growth this year could come in higher than sell-side analyst forecasts suggest, particularly for Palantir’s commercial segment. For the bears, their arguments are largely in line with the bear case recently laid out by Jeffries’ Brent Thill.
As I discussed previously, Thill believes that PLTR’s current valuation is unsustainable. In his view, it will take time for customer growth/the rollout of AIP to translate into higher levels of reported growth. This in turn sets the market up for disappointment, if growth fails to really take off again in the coming quarters.
The Jury’s Still Out, but Here’s the Silver Lining
Only time will tell whether Palantir’s results beat, meet, or fall short of expectations. Again, the evidence cited by the bulls (a growing customer count) can be countered by a strong point made by the bears (the time it takes for customer acquisitions to translate into reported growth).
Yet while the jury may still be out, there’s a silver lining. Consider it the tiebreaker between staying long and strong PLTR, or treading carefully from here. That would be the fact that it may take only a small amount of positive news to drive another rally.
That is, even if the aforementioned factors only result in a marginal revenue/earnings beat, it may still result in a post-earnings surge for shares, especially if an upwards revision to outlook is provided alongside such results.
Even if results fall short, and growth remains in line with levels of growth reported in recent quarters, strong guidance could make up for it.
The market may also be willing to cut PLTR some slack, if customer growth numbers remain high. Conversely, Palantir may have to report underwhelming earnings, weak guidance, dispiriting customer growth numbers for the bear case to play out.
Besides a lot needing to take a turn for the worse with Palantir for the bear case to prevail, macro trends may not be on the side of bears, either.
While some still beg to differ, an increasing number of economists and analysts see a much-desired economic “soft landing” playing out. A further inflation cooldown may result in interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.
Rate cuts could bolster economic growth, helping to sustain growing demand for Palantir’s software. Low rates could also help PLTR sustain its rich valuation (67.7 times forward earnings).
Put simply, if you’re long PLTR stock, or thinking about going long, the odds may just well be in your favor. With this, continue to feel free to maintain or enter a position.
PLTR stock earns a B rating in Portfolio Grader.
On the date of publication, Louis Navellier had a long position in PLTR. Louis Navellier did not have (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
The InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.