Business Startups

Bellwether SaaS Shop Box’s Solid Sales Send Shares Spiking

Box reported the financial results for its first quarter today (fiscal 2018), including revenue of $117.2 million, adjusted earnings per share of -$0.13, and all-in earnings per share of -$0.30.

Investors had expected Box to lose $0.14 per share on revenue of $114.74 million. As such, Box beat expectations on both its top and bottom lines.

(For fun: The lowest analyst estimate for Box’s revenue in the quarter was $114.4 million. The highest was $115 million. SaaS takes some of the joy out of disparate analyst guesses.)

Critically, Box continued to generate cash. The firm reported operating cash flow of $8.5 million in the quarter, and free cash flow of $4.0 million during the quarter.

Shares in the bellwether SaaS companies are up sharply after-hours — 6.42 percent as of the time of writing.


Box grew just under 30 percent in the quarter, compared to the year-ago period. Rewinding, here are the year-over-year growth rates set in the company’s last few quarters, starting with the recently-reported FQ1’18:

  • FQ1’18: 30 percent.
  • FQ4’17: 29 percent.
  • FQ3’17: 36 percent.
  • FQ2’17: 34 percent.
  • FQ1’17: 37 percent.

I raise those result to show the general deceleration of Box growth in percentage terms, and also to highlight that the company managed to rebound from its FQ4’17 number. A growth rate of 30 percent is far under its year-ago 37 percent rate, but the company managed to claw back above a pace that starts with a two.

Box anticipates revenue between $121 million and $122 million in the current fiscal quarter. Compared to the year-ago FQ2, those estimates represent growth of 26.44 and 27.48 percent, respectively. Recalling our prior list of revenue growth, it isn’t hard to guess that Box intends to come in on top of its stated estimates. The street, for reference, expects $121.28 million in the second fiscal period (estimates set before today’s reported earnings).


Resurfacing a piece I wrote with TechCrunch’s Matthew Lynley earlier this year, here were our prop bets regarding Box’s earnings results:

Keeping score, Box did not return to negative free cash flow, its shares are up more than 3 percent, and the crystal ball is still defogging regarding the cohort question. You can tune in to settle that score.

For today, just keep in mind that Box beat expectations and added to its recent run in the public market. That keeps its multiples improving, likely helping private companies defend their valuations.

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