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Box CEO Teases Small Acquisitions and Explains Conservative Guidance

  • As Box's market share grows, investors worry the cloud storage company may not be growing fast to compete with major players, like Google and Microsoft.
  • CEO Aaron Levie says Box is well positioned to benefit from increased cloud migration.
  • Levie teased new growth at the end of 2018 and some small acquisitions in the future.


Box fell more than 7 percent on Thursday after a weaker-than-anticipated second quarter outlook sparked fears the company's growth would slow. But CEO Aaron Levie says the enterprise cloud storage company stands to benefit from cloud migration, and may even be in the market for some small acquisitions as growth picks up.

"Wall Street had pretty high expectations about where we would be guiding in the future, but we wanted to issue guidance we knew we could commit to achieving," Levie said on CNBC's "Closing Bell."

"Overall we are seeing incredible momentum in terms of customers moving their content and collaboration systems to the cloud, and we stand to benefit from all that migration," he added.

Levie says the company has plans to invest more into core technologies, like artificial intelligence, security and workflow, which he could mean small acquisitions in the future.

"We might make small acquisitions ourselves in terms of growing that technology. We are very confident in the position we occupy and just want to expand that from there."

Box has seen a substantial rise in value this year, up 22 percent year-to-date and close to 37 percent year-over-year. Some investors worry Box may not be growing fast enough to compete with giants like Google and Microsoft, but Levie says Box has been competing all along.

"We have been competing with those big incumbents since the day we started our company in college 13 years ago," he said. "Our focus has been build a superior product, deliver a better user experience to end users and enterprise IT buyers...and be the world leader in security, compliance and privacy."

Levie also emphasized the importance of remaining "platform neutral" so as to integrate seamlessly with customers' other services, and discussed a few techniques he said would drive growth rate by the end of 2018 and into 2019.

"We are going through an evolution of our sales model, where instead of selling the core product to customers, it's about add-on services and platform capabilities," Levie said. "That's going to have the impact of growing average contract value."


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