Box beats Q1 estimates as enterprises look for secure remote work solutions

While the company expects enterprise customers to continue increasing their adoption of Box services, it does anticipate some softness from small business customers.

Box on Wednesday published strong first quarter financial results, with its enterprise customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic looking for secure, remote work services to keep their operations running. While the company expects enterprise customers to continue increasing their adoption of Box services, it does anticipate some softness from small business customers. 

The cloud content management company posted non-GAAP net income per share of 10 cents. Revenue for Q1 2021 was $183.6 million, an increase of 13 percent over the year prior. 

Analysts were looking for earnings of 5 cents per share on revenue of $181.91 million. 

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"While these remain challenging and unprecedented times, we are at the beginning of one of the most transformative periods in business history," co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie said in a statement. "The need for more organizations to develop remote work and digital transformation strategies on modern cloud platforms has never been greater, and Box is in a strong position to help our customers remain resilient, productive, and innovative during these times."

Deferred revenue as of April 30 was $368.3 million, an increase of 11 percent from the year prior. Billings for the first quarter were $128.1 million, an increase of 8 percent.

Free cash flow in Q1 was positive $39.8 million. 

Box highlighted new deals signed in the quarter with major organizations including BETC, the City of Berkeley FLIR, the Law Offices of Los Angeles County Public Defender, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, NASA, the National Bank of Canada, Telenor Group, Toyota Finance Corporation and the USDA. 

"Our heightened focus on driving expansion and renewals in our existing customer base, combined with a predominantly recurring revenue model, create strong financial resiliency in light of this dynamic situation," CFO Dylan Smith said in a statement. 

Box's Q2 and FY 2021 guidance incorporates the company's assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact its business, including some softness from small business customers and professional services revenue. The company is also operating more efficiently due to its own remote work efforts, resulting in stronger EPS guidance. 

For Q2, Box expects non-GAAP diluted net income per share in the range of 12 cents to 14 cents. It expects revenue in the range of $189 million to $190 million.

Analysts are expecting earnings of 8 cents on revenue of $188.19 million. 

For the full year, Box expects non-GAAP diluted net income per share in the range of 47 cents to 52 cents. Revenue is expected to be in the range of $760 million to $768 million.