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Why Cloud Storage Provider Box Had a Killer Quarter

This story originally appeared on Reuters

Cloud storage provider Box Inc. reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue as add-on services helped it win more customers to its content-sharing platform.

The company also forecast better-than-expected current quarter revenue and shares rose 12.9 percent to $14.07 in extended trading on Wednesday.

The company recorded increased traction for its additional data management services such as KeySafe and Governance.

The company, which won customers such as Unilever Plc. and Home Depot Inc., said its paying customer base rose to 57,000 at the end of fourth quarter, up from 54,000 at the end of the third quarter.

"It (services) allows us to work with much bigger enterprises and close much bigger deals with them as well," Box Chief Executive Officer Aaron Levie said, adding that the services increased average selling price for deals by about 20 percent to 30 percent.

While KeySafe allows a customer to take full control of encryption keys for its content, Governance allows businesses with sensitive data, such as financial services and healthcare companies, to comply with regulatory policies on sharing sensitive information.

Box has recently also inked partnerships with Microsoft Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. that allow its storage platform to run on their cloud services, making its offerings more attractive to enterprises.

"Many of our largest deals in fourth quarter came from customers rolling out [Microsoft] office 365 alongside Box," Levie said separately on a conference call with analysts.

Box forecast first-quarter revenue of $88 million to $89 million and an adjusted loss of 23 to 24 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $86.9 million and a loss of 24 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed to $50.4 million, or 41 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, from $52.9 million, or $2.64 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company lost 26 cents per share. Analysts estimated a loss of 29 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 35.7 percent to $85 million, above average analysts' estimate of $81.8 million.

Up to Wednesday's close, Box's shares had fallen 10.6 percent since it went public in January last year.

(Reporting by Kshitiz Goliya in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Lisa Shumaker)