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Dropbox raises long-term profit outlook in confidential slideshow for prospective investors

  • Dropbox executives revealed to investors their long-term targets for expanded gross and operating margins, according to a photo from the company's investor presentation.
  • The slide, marked "confidential," indicates that the company's long-term targets for gross margins are between 76 percent and 78 percent, up from 68 percent in 2017.
  • As part of the marketing surrounding its IPO, Dropbox hosted hundreds of investors at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel.

Dropbox executives revealed to investors their long-term targets for expanded gross and operating margins, according to a photo from the company's investor presentation.

The photo was obtained by CNBC from an attendee inside the company's New York roadshow meeting Monday as part of its initial public offering marketing.

The slide, marked "confidential," indicates that the company's long-term targets for gross margins are between 76 percent and 78 percent, up from 68 percent in 2017. Dropbox also plans to increase operating margins to a target between 18 percent and 20 percent, up from 5 percent last year. The time-frame for "long-term" was not identified on the slide.

These long-term targets have not been previously disclosed through the company's initial public offering prospectus.

As part of the marketing surrounding its IPO, Dropbox hosted hundreds of investors at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel. Drew Houston, the chief executive, spoke, as did Dropbox's chief financial officer, Ajay Vashee, and chief operating officer, Dennis Woodside. The company's advisers from Goldman Sachs, J. P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank were also in attendance.

Additional photos provided to CNBC show a slide that highlights the company's 35-point margin improvement since 2015, which Dropbox attributes to "efficient data management, owned infrastructure." Another slide focused on the company's revenue and free-cash flow improvements over the last three years.

A spokeswoman for Dropbox didn't comment or confirm the authenticity of the photos.

Like many start-ups, Dropbox ran its service atop Amazon Web Services for the first years of operation, but began to build its own infrastructure beginning in 2015, and has moved core operations off Amazon to its own systems.

Dropbox will hold another lunch in Boston on Thursday before heading to the West Coast and Midwest next week. The company intends to price its shares next Thursday, with trading on Friday, a person familiar with the matter said. That timing could change based on market conditions and other factors.

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