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Box Shares Soar as Sales Rise 36 Percent on Shrinking Losses

The cloud storage and collaboration company said it will have be cash-flow positive in the fourth quarter of this year.


Shares of cloud storage and collaboration company Box rose by 11 percent in after-hours trading as the company posted fourth quarter results that were better than what analysts expected.

Box shares rose $1.38 to $13.90 after posting a per-share loss of 26 cents on revenue of $87 million. Analysts had forecast a loss of 29 cents a share and sales of $81.8 million. The company also finished its fiscal year with revenue of $303 million, up 40 percent year-on-year, and an operating loss of $201 million which ballooned from a $166.6 million operating loss in 2015.

The company said Q1 will come in between $88 million and $89 million with a loss of between 23 and 24 cents, both of which were in line with analysts’ estimates. For the year it expects revenue in the range of $390 million to $394 million, with a loss ranging from 83 to 85 cents. It also said it expects a positive free cash flow from operations — a key milestone toward profitability — in the fourth quarter.

Box finished the year with 57,000 companies paying for its services and added customers including The Home Depot, Campbell Soup Compny and Bain Capital. It didn’t disclose its total individual users. The company landed some large customers it didn’t identify by way of its partnership with IBM. It also has partnership with Microsoft that allows Office 365 customers to collaborate on documents from within Box. “We saw a few deals above our usual six-figure threshold this quarter. … We landed pretty significant deals from existing prospects and net new customers because of the IBM partnership,” CEO Aaron Levie said on a conference call with analysts.

Levie Box has “a very long roadmap” of additional partnerships ahead.

Box ended the year with more than 1,300 employees, Levie said. He said expected the headcount to rise, but at a slower rate than in previous years.

(Correction: We initially said Box expects a $5 million positive operating cash flow in the fourth quarter, but it said it expects a positive free cash flow in the fourth quarter, which is different. Sorry about that.)

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