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Box shares stumble as billings growth dramatically slows

Aaron Levie, chief executive officer of Box
Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Aaron Levie, chief executive officer of Box

Shares of Box shed about 11.5 percent Thursday despite posting quarterly results that beat Wall Street expectations.

The cloud-computing firm reported a fiscal first-quarter loss of 18 cents a share on revenue of $90.2 million on Wednesday, while analysts polled by Reuters expected Box to post a loss of 24 cents a share on revenue of $88.7 million.

That said, Box's billings for the quarter totaled $75.9 million, below StreetAccount's estimate of $84.9 million. The company's billings figure represents a 9 percent year-over-year increase for the quarter, but billings had jumped nearly 60 percent in the previous quarter.

"As previously announced, billings were impacted by increasing seasonality in the business and the focus on annual payment durations from multiyear prepayments, beginning this fiscal year," Box said in its quarterly report.

Analysts at Canaccord Genuity trimmed their price target to $16 from $18 on Box shares after the firm posted its results, but remained bullish on the stock long term. Box shares closed at $11.34 Thursday.

"Box is far more differentiated than investors comprehend, which should lead to sustainable growth and, more or less inexorably, FCF profitability in Q4 of this year, followed by a consistent margin expansion ramp of 200-300 basis points per year for several years thereafter," they said in a Wednesday note to clients.

"The resulting beat down is deserved, but it also presents an opportunity to buy a promising company at what is likely to prove to be a compelling and temporary discount."

BOX year to dateSource: FactSet