Palantir, the data analytics company best known for its work for the US defence and national security community, reported a fourth-quarter loss though its revenues topped expectations.

Revenues rose 40 per cent from a year ago to $322m in the fourth quarter, beating Wall Street expectations for $300m, according to a Refinitiv survey.

But the company reported a net loss of $148.3m, or 8 cents a share, in the period, compared with a loss of $159.3m, or 29 cents, in the same quarter last year.

The company forecast revenue growth of more than 30 per cent for 2021 — a slower pace than 47 per cent increase in 2020 — and 45 per cent in the current quarter.

Palantir’s shares, which have more than tripled in value since it made its market debut in a direct listing last September, fell 6.5 per cent in pre-market trading.

The company said government customers contributed $190m in sales, up 85 per cent from a year ago, while its commercial segment accounted for $132m in sales, up 4 per cent year on year.

Its full-year revenues were $1.1bn, of which $610m or about 56 per cent of total revenue came from government customers.

In the last three months of 2020, the company said it had signed 21 contracts worth $5m or more each with the likes of Rio Tinto, PG&E, the US army, the Food and Drug Administration and the NHS in the UK. At least 12 of these contracts were worth not less than $10m, according to Palantir.

The company, led by Alex Karp and co-founded by Peter Thiel, noted average revenue per customer was $7.9m last year, up 41 per cent from 2019.