Cloud-based collaboration platform company Box (BOX) - Get Report is set to report second-quarter earnings results after the closing bell Wednesday. These shares, at $13, don't scream bargain today. But BOX no longer presents the same risks as before thanks to the company's strong rate of growth.
The company beaten Wall Street's revenue and earnings estimates in four straight quarters and has raised guidance. In the first quarter, for instance, despite posting an operating loss margin of 42.8%, the company marked a massive improvement from the 71.7% it posted in the year-ago quarter.
The improvement was driven by Box's ongoing investments in its platform, particularly in areas such as security, compliance and administrative technology. These investments, which help brought in more than 5,000 new paying customers in the first quarter, have begun to pay dividends. The 5,000 new customers puts Box's customer base at 62,000 businesses, including 59% of the Fortune 500.
In order to maintain its growth rate, Box is working to strengthen its product offerings by investing in research and development. While these investments may pressure near-term profit margins, investors would do well to ignore the decline and stock volatility and focus on the value the company is working to build.
Given that Box has also formed partnerships with the likes of Adobe (ADBE) - Get Report and Cognizant (CTSH) - Get Report , the stock now offers tons of future upside in the next 12 to 18 months. Not only will these partnerships help the company better leverage its cloud-computing technologies but they will help drive the need for more secure collaboration.
Add in the fact that Box has spent money on multiple acquisitions recently, these deals will also require more time to create operational synergies. On Wednesday, the company is expected to report revenues in the range of $94 to $95 million, while the adjusted loss is expected to be 19 cents to 20 cents per share.
In short, at around $13 per share, Box's "If we build it, they will come" strategy is worth the risk, given that spending on cloud-based Big Data and analytics solutions projected to soar over the next five years. Assuming earnings beat expectations and guidance is raised Wednesday, BOX should reach $15 to $17 by the end of the year, yielding gains of 15% to 30%.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.