Box Inc. posted strong quarterly sales Thursday that could give the company temporary relief from an agitating activist investor.
posted a net loss of $14.6 million, or 9 cents a share, in the first quarter compared with a net loss of $25.6 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Box’s adjusted earnings were 18 cents, topping the Street consensus of 17 cents.
Revenue rose 10% to a record $202.4 million from $183.6 million a year ago, on strong enterprise sales. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected revenue of $200.4 million.
Reflecting its strength in the enterprise market, the Redwood City, Calif.-based company raised guidance on fiscal 2022 revenue to between $845 million and $853 million. FactSet analysts are predicting $844.7 million. Box also raised its full-year EPS guidance to 71 cents to 76 cents a share.
“It was a very strong quarter” punctuated by “a lot of momentum” in deals of more than $100,000, Box Chief Executive Aaron Levie told MarketWatch in an interview shortly before the results were announced. As for its impact on activist investor Starboard Value LP, he quipped, “They are always full of fun surprises.”
Shares of Box were initially flat in after-hours trading Thursday.
Box’s results were announced as it continues to fend off Starboard, which earlier this month ratcheted up the pressure on Levie & Co. by nominating four director candidates to the software company’s board. In so doing, Starboard Managing Member Peter Feld insisted “not enough progress has been made to put Box on a better path” to correct “years of missed expectations, poor results, and generally poor governance.” Starboard invested in Box in 2019.
Starboard did not respond to email messages seeking further comment this week.
Box shares are up 27% this year, while the broader S&P 500 index
has climbed 12% in 2021.