Box forecasts full-year revenue above estimates on remote-work boost

(Reuters) - Box Inc BOX.N forecast annual revenue above analysts' estimates and beat targets for quarterly sales on Wednesday, as demand rises for its online collaboration tools due to the global shift to work from home caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: Online data storage provider Box Inc. Co-Founder and CEO Aaron Levie gives an interview on floor of the New York Stock Exchange, after his company's IPO January 23, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Box is the latest to signal the lift from firms increasingly using video conferencing and other remote work tools to keep their operations running, which has also benefited companies such as Microsoft Corp MSFT.O, Cisco Systems Inc CSCO.O and Zoom Video Communications Inc ZM.O.

In an interview with Reuters, Chief Executive Officer Aaron Levie said Box saw an uptick in demand from large enterprises during the quarter, helping it close more than 40 deals with a combined worth of over $100,000.

The trend of companies letting employees work from anywhere is here to stay, helping businesses such as Box which support remote work, he added.

The company estimated revenue of between $760 million and $768 million for 2021, the midpoint of which was above analysts’ average estimate of $762.2 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Its revenue rose 13% to $183.6 million in the first quarter, beating expectations of $181.91 million.

Earlier this month, peer Dropbox Inc DBX.O also beat quarterly sales estimates, as the file-hosting firm signed up more paying customers on its platform amid the pandemic.

Box’s first-quarter billings, which is revenue plus the change in deferred revenue, rose 8% to $128.1 million.

Its net loss narrowed to $25.6 million, or 17 cents, in the quarter ended April 30, from a loss of $36.8 million, or 25 cents, a year earlier.

Shares of the company, which closed up 5% on Wednesday, were marginally higher in extended trading.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni