Box is bucking the trend among technology names and stands to keep outperforming going forward, according to JPMorgan. Analyst Pinjalim Bora upgraded the software-as-a-service stock to overweight from neutral. He also upped his price target to $34 from $31. The new target represents upside of 20% from Friday’s close. “With shares now trading below our prior PT and inline with a broader set of comps, we think Box presents an undervalued profitable growth story and we are comfortable moving to an Overweight rating,” he said in a note to clients. The move follows the upgrade to neutral from underweight in March as the stock has continued to outperform the broader software sector, as measured by the iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) . In that time, Box is up about 3% while the IGV has lost roughly 21%. Bora said Box’s use of one platform and integration of products within it has helped the company’s performance. Its use of bundling products into what it calls “suites” has also been popular among clients, Bora said. Suites accounted for 42% of total revenue at the end of the third quarter, compared with 31% in the prior year, with expectations of it passing the 50% mark. Data security has been a driver of business. Bora said the company could see further long-term growth not tied to corporate headcounts as it steps into technology focused on application program interfaces — which allows software systems to communicate with each other. Box said free cash flow should grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25% and 30% between the 2022 and 2025 fiscal years. The analyst said there could be further upside to JPMorgan’s current price target if that goal is met. To be sure, Bora said the company should feel headwinds in the next year along with the broader software market from foreign exchange and the volatile economy, which could impact demand for IT. But he said the economic contracting should push investors toward profitability rather than growth, which will help Box continue to outperform as its growth and cash flow will gain traction. Growth should slow next year along with the broader software market, he said, but should still show a “double-digit” increase year over year. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.
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