Facebook-backed Palantir Makes Public Debut on NYSE, Insiders Struggle to Sell Shares

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Facebook-backed Palantir Makes Public Debut on NYSE, Insiders Struggle to Sell Shares
Photo: Palantir / Twitter

Shares of Palantir (PLTR) jumped over 30% on a listing day at the New York Stock Exchange. However, a technical glitch on Morgan Stanley’s Shareworks platform prevented company alumni and employees from selling their shares.

On Wednesday, September 30, software company Palantir made its public debut on the New York Stock Exchange. Palantir Technologies Inc (NYSE: PLTR) stock opened at $10 while ending the day 31% higher at $9.50.

Backed by Facebook‘s Investors Funds, Palantir specializes in developing data analytics software for big companies and government agencies. Billionaire Peter Theil, the co-founder of Palantir, has been an early investor in Facebook and currently sits on the company board. However, Theil has no investments in the social media giant as of now.

With 1.65 billion outstanding PLTR shares, the initial price gives the company a market cap of $16.5 billion. This excludes options, restricted stock units, and unvested stock. The actual diluted share counts come at somewhere around 2.17 billion.

Interestingly, on the day of listing i.e. Wednesday, Palantir alumni and employees complained of being unable to sell their shares. These people weren’t able to transact post listing on a platform over Morgan Stanley’s Shareworks system. Some of the former employees told CNBC that some technical glitch prevented them from selling their shares. One of the former employees said that the system started working later in the morning. Speaking to CNBC, an unnamed spokesperson for Morgan Stanley’s Shareworks group said:

“We experienced slowness that may have resulted in delayed logins into our system. At all times our call centers were available to execute trades. We will work through any issue that is brought to our attention and ensure that no employee will be disadvantaged.”

Palantir (NYSE: PLTR) Expects Record Growth for 2020

In an updated filing last week before going public, Palantir said it expects 42$ growth by the end of 2020 with an estimated revenue of $1.06 billion. The company has been seeing good growth momentum since last year. In 2019, the company reported a 25% increase in revenue over the previous year at $742 million.

Recently, Palantir has been in controversy for working on a governance structure for government agencies. Distancing itself from the tech Mecca “Silicon Valley”, the company has considered moving its headquarters to Colorado. Taking a jibe at Facebook, Palantir CEO Alex Karp wrote:

“Software projects with our nation’s defense and intelligence agencies, whose missions are to keep us safe, have become controversial, while companies built on advertising dollars are commonplace. For many consumer internet companies, our thoughts and inclinations, behaviors and browsing habits, are the product for sale. The slogans and marketing of many of the Valley’s largest technology firms attempt to obscure this simple fact.”

Along with Palantir, team management software company Asana also went public on Wednesday. shares of Asana Inc (NYSE: ASAN) jumped 37% on the listing day while giving a closing at $28.80. With 154 million outstanding shares, the company valuations stand around $4.6 billion. Asana CEO Dustin Moskovitz is also the co-founder of Facebook.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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