FleetCor first-quarter results beat EPS by 12%, revenues by 6.3%

FleetCor Technologies Inc. (NYSE: FLT), a fuel-card and business-payments provider, announced first-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $3 — 23 cents better than the consensus estimate.

Total revenues increased 6.3% to $661.1 million in the first quarter of 2020, compared to $621.8 million in the first quarter of 2019.

“We managed a pretty good first-quarter result, particularly considering the current environment, with adjusted net income per diluted share finishing at $3. January and February revenue started quite well, 8% and 8% growth, respectively, prior to experiencing the mid-March shutdowns,” said Ron Clarke, FleetCor’s chairman and chief executive officer, during an earnings call Thursday.

Clarke added, “All of our businesses were impacted by the sudden declines in late March, bringing our growth rates for the quarter below target.”

FleetCor’s net income decreased 15% to $147.1 million in the latest period, compared to $172.1 million the year before. Net income per diluted share decreased 14% to $1.67 in the first quarter, compared to $1.93 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2019. 

Operating income, or EBIT, was 29% lower at $201 million.

FleetCor’s key performance indicators.

Included in the first quarter was a one-time loss of $90.1 million related to a customer receivable in the company’s foreign currency trading business, officials said.

“Our Cambridge business experienced a $90 million, bad debt loss in the first quarter, resulting from a large client entering voluntary bankruptcy. We view this as truly a one-off event, as the business has experienced less than 1.5% bad debt as a percentage of revenue for as far back as we have data,” said Eric Dey, FleetCor’s chief financial officer.

Atlanta-based FleetCor is an international fuel card and business payments provider. The company also has product categories in lodging (hotel booking through its CLC website) and electronic toll and parking payment solutions. 

Clarke also discussed some of the trends FleetCor was seeing in April after the coronavirus pandemic began affecting North America and Europe.

“In North America, our fuel volumes are off 20% to 25%, behind last year in April,” Clarke said. “Our trucking business has been holding because many of our North America fuel businesses are essential services. It looks like our volume declines are leveling off.”

Fleetcor’s international fuel card business volume was weaker than in North America, down 25% to 50% depending on the particular market.

“Mostly because in Europe the shutdown was earlier than here in the U.S. and also because in the United Kingdom in particular there’s a greater proportion of white-collar card holders who have been more impacted by shelter-in-place orders, Clarke said.

Going forward, FleetCor officials said they are suspending full-year 2020 guidance. 

“There is simply too much uncertainty regarding the resumption of business activity around the world,” Dey said. “We expect that the second quarter will be the lowest in terms of volume and revenue, and as business activity starts to recover around the world, volumes should build throughout the year.”