Market conditions continue to work against Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR). But, as it sinks down below $15 per share, PLTR stock may now be entering the buy zone. At least, it may appear that way to investors who see the data analytics software provider as a long-term play.
For investors looking at PLTR stock with this perspective, the issues affecting the company’s performance right now are temporary. It’s not guaranteed that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate hikes will be worse than expected. In fact, their impact may already be priced-in — perhaps more than priced-in.
Further, a slowdown in governmental sales growth could be more than matched by accelerating growth in the company’s commercial segment. In time, Palantir could prove the doubters wrong, the doubters being those who see it as a well-connected government contractor struggling to grow its private sector business.
In time, this may all prove true. If you have the conviction that things are just getting warmed up for the company, buying now may be worth it. A little more volatility won’t have you heading for the hills. However, if you only see the stock as a bet on the tech rebound? You may want to stick with other plays. Short-term company-specific issues could continue to keep Palantir down.
Taking Another Look at PLTR Stock
Admittedly, my recent articles on Palantir have largely focused on the same issue: rising interest rates and the subsequent impact on valuation. Assuming historically low interest rates continue “getting back to normal” following the pandemic, we’re going to see stock valuations “get back to normal” as well.
If this trend plays out, it’s going to be tough for PLTR stock to sustain its current earnings multiple. However, after talking about the rate hike bear case, let’s explore the more bullish argument for this stock.
First, it’s not set in stone that the Fed will act more aggressively than expected to tame inflation. Plus, the three rate increases foreseen for 2022 may be already priced-in. In turn, tech stocks — after struggling since Thanksgiving — could start to make a recovery. This would resolve the market-related issues affecting Palantir shares today.
Second, upcoming quarterly results could help assuage concerns that slowing sales growth with the government will continue to outweigh accelerating commercial sales growth for the company. That’s what played out last quarter — and is technically what kicked off the stock’s selloff. The market’s move to “risk-off” extended it. However, while step one (dust settles on tech, sector bounces back) has a strong chance of happening, I wouldn’t be so sure about step two.
Years Away From Its ‘Payoff’ Moment
If a tech rebound is on the horizon, there are many stocks you can buy today to play it. For instance, a tech name like Sofi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI) — which has many catalysts on the horizon — could be a great pick. If the market warms back up to tech stocks, that along with the fintech’s upcoming catalysts could help it quickly bounce back.
But PLTR stock on the other hand? Again, in the long-term, the bull case here may play out. As the corporate world increases its use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications, Palantir could move beyond its “Beltway Bandit” roots and become a massive, high-margin enterprise. Unfortunately, though, this is likely still years away (if not a decade).
The uncertainty of this scenario playing out, further clouded by near-term challenges, may limit PLTR stock’s potential to bounce back when tech stocks overall do. In other words, the stock may just hold steady from here — and at best make a move back between $15 and $20 per share.
In contrast, Sofi or another growth stock where there’s little doubt around its “story” could generate large, more rapid gains once the market calms down about forthcoming changes to interest rates.
The Bottom Line with PLTR Stock
It’s interesting how much the market’s view on Palantir has whipsawed since the company’s 2020 direct listing. If you recall, investors yawned when it debuted in the public markets. But after the 2020 election, excitement for the stock skyrocketed, as did the share price. During this time, PLTR stock also became a favorite meme stock.
In the year or so since then, though, with growth stocks no longer in vogue and its possible growth challenges? The market has gone back from hot to cold. Even if the growth stock selloff finally ends, it’s going to take time for Palantir to show that it’s a long-term growth story once again.
With so many names in the tech sector able to make faster recoveries, it’s best to pass on PLTR stock for now.
On the date of publication, Thomas Niel did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Thomas Niel, a contributor for InvestorPlace.com, has been writing single-stock analysis for web-based publications since 2016.