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Does International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) Deal Signal That It’s Time To Buy Box Inc (BOX)?

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In light of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s new deal, is it time to buy Box Inc (NYSE:BOX)’s beleaguered shares? In an interview on Bloomberg, Box CEO Aaron Levie and IBM SVP for Analytics Bob Picciano revealed the new partnership, which involves the integration of IBM’s Watson analytics and security services into Box’s cloud platform. The deal also gives International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) access to Box’s services through IBM’s software products. Box Inc (NYSE:BOX) debuted on the New York Stock exchange on January 26 and has had a rough go of it since then, with the stock dropping by 24.62% from the close on its maiden trading day to yesterday’s close of $17.51 per share. This new deal, which has been ironed out over the past nine months Levie revealed, may be just the breath of fresh air that the cloud services company needs to rebound from that rough ride since its IPO. Levie tells Forbes that the deal with International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) will help his company make headway in attracting customers from the government, financial services, and healthcare industries. These customers have a need for very secure platforms enabling analytics and big data, accessed through user-friendly systems, which is exactly what the new deal between IBM and Box aims to create.


First, a quick word on why we track hedge fund activity. In 2014, equity hedge funds returned just 1.4%. In 2013, that figure was 11.3%, and in 2012, they returned just 4.8%. These are embarrassingly low figures compared to the S&P 500 ETF (SPY)’s 13.5% gain in 2014, 32.3% gain in 2013, and 16% gain in 2012. Does this mean that hedge fund managers are dumber than a bucket of rocks when it comes to picking stocks? The answer is definitely no. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy – which identifies the best small-cap stock picks of the best hedge fund managers – returned 28.2% in 2014, 53.2% in 2013, and 33.3% in 2012, outperforming the market each year (it’s outperforming it so far in 2015 too). What’s the reason for this discrepancy, you may ask? The reason is simple: size. Hedge funds have gotten so large, they have to allocate the majority of their money into large-cap liquid stocks that are more efficiently priced. They are like mutual funds now. Consider Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, the largest in the industry with about $165 billion in AUM. It can’t allocate too much money into a small-cap stock as merely obtaining 2% exposure would really move the price. In fact, Dalio can’t even obtain 2% exposure to many small-cap stocks, even if he essentially owned the entire company, as they’re simply too small (or rather, his fund is too big). This is where we come in. Our research has shown that it is actually hedge funds’ small-cap picks that are their best performing ones and we have consistently identified the best picks of the best managers, returning 142% since the launch of our small-cap strategy compared to less than 60% for the S&P 500 (see the details).

Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio
Bridgewater Associates

It’s a mixed bag when it comes to Box Inc (NYSE:BOX)’s fourth quarter results for its fiscal year 2015, which ended on January 31. The firm reported an impressive 61.4% growth in revenue to $62.64 million versus the same quarter a year ago, and this figure was a strong $4.65 million above consensus. It’s important to note, nonetheless, that the firm missed earnings estimates widely, despite the greater than anticipated revenue, reporting a loss of $1.65 per share for its fiscal fourth quarter, well below the consensus of a loss of $0.48 per share. For its first quarter in the company’s fiscal year 2016, the firm reported a loss of $0.39 per share, still slightly more than the estimated loss of $0.37 per share set by analysts. Revenues for the company’s first quarter of fiscal 2016, which ended April 30 were $65.6 million, a 44.8% increase against the year-ago quarter and over the $64 million expected by analysts.

Though Box Inc (NYSE:BOX) seems to be continuously growing in terms of revenue, smart money appears not to be overly enthusiastic about the company. It should be noted that there were eight hedge funds followed by Insider Monkey which reported a long position in Box Inc by the end of the first quarter. However, the relatively small investment in Box is definitely not a sign of confidence, with many other less vaunted IPOs receiving much greater investments from the smart money.

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