June 10, 2015 / 8:36 PM / 3 years ago

Box raises forecast as more customers sign up for cloud storage

(Reuters) - Cloud storage provider Box Inc (BOX.N) raised its full-year forecast as more customers subscribed to its content-sharing platform.

Shares of the company, whose customers include AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L), General Electric Co (GE.N) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N), rose about 8.7 percent in extended trading on Wednesday.

“Box expects to be cashflow breakeven by the end of next fiscal year, and in terms of profitability, that would come thereafter” Chief Executive Aaron Levie told Reuters without giving a specific timeline.

Box had earlier said it does not expect to be profitable for the foreseeable future due to continuing investments in scaling business.

Box, which won customers like Deloitte and Touche LLP, Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) and Halliburton Co (HAL.N) in the first quarter, said it closed five deals that were greater than $500,000 compared to just two deals a year ago.

Box added more than 2,000 customers in the first quarter, taking its total number of customers above 47,000.

The company said it surpassed 37 million registered users, compared with 34 million at the end of the fourth quarter.

The number of paying users grew 70 percent from a year earlier, and now accounts for more than 10 percent of total users, the company said.

Box raised its full-year forecast to $286 million-$290 million from $281 million-$285 million earlier.

The online file-sharing and personal cloud content management service for businesses leverages a “freemium” business model, providing up to 10 GB of free storage for personal accounts and charging for additional space.

In April, Box launched its premium security service, which lets businesses control their encryption keys, the encoding tools used to keep data safe.

The company’s main competitors include privately held Dropbox, Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) OneDrive, Citrix Systems Inc’s (CTXS.O) ShareFile and Google Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Drive.

Box, which reported its second-ever quarterly results as a public company, forecast current-quarter revenue of $69 million to $70 million, above the average analyst estimate of $66.98 million.

The company’s net loss attributable to shareholders widened to $47.3 million, or 40 cents per share, in the first quarter ended April 30, from $38.6 million, or $2.81 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company reported a loss of 28 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of a loss of 31 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 44.8 percent to $65.6 million, beating the average estimate of $63.7 million.

Box’s shares closed at $17.79 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Reporting by Kshitiz Goliya in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings, Bernard Orr

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