FLEETCOR Q4 earnings ‘better than expected’

FLEETCOR reported Q4 earnings for 2020.

Global business payments company FLEETCOR Technologies Inc. (NYSE: FLT) reported adjusted earnings per share of $3.01 for the fourth quarter Thursday, higher than Yahoo Finance’s estimated $2.82, but a 5% decrease compared to the 2019 fourth quarter. 

“Q4 finished better than expected, with improving trends across the board,” said Ron Clarke, chairman and chief executive officer at FLEETCOR, in a statement

FLEETCOR reported net revenue of $617 million in the quarter, an 11.7% year-over-year decrease.

During the earnings call, Clarke said that almost every metric, including volume, sales, revenue, credit losses and customer retention, improved during the fourth quarter compared to the second-quarter lows.

FLEETCOR announced its acquisition of global accounts payable software platform provider Roger, which is geared toward small and medium-size businesses, last week. 

“This single bill pay initiative has the potential to dramatically accelerate growth rates in both the corporate pay and fuel-card businesses,” Clarke said in regard to the Roger acquisition.

The Atlanta-based commercial fuel-card provider reported fuel transaction revenue of $260 million, 13% lower year-over-year. Fuel revenue per transaction did not decline nearly as much, down only 0.4% year-over-year. Fuel revenue was $2.36 per transaction, 1 cent lower than the year-ago period.

Clarke said that the COVID-19 pandemic meant clients required fewer FLEETCOR services and contributed to lower fuel prices, impacting results negatively. He said that demand and financial impacts are on the road to recovery.

Looking into 2021

“Clearly there is still tremendous uncertainty on the path and pace of recovery for 2021, much of it predicated on widespread vaccinations and a corresponding economic recovery. Based on what we know today, and our expectation that activity will continue to improve throughout the year, our outlook for 2021 is for organic revenue growth to be in the 9% to 13% range, and adjusted net income to be up a corresponding amount, excluding acquisitions,” CFO Charles Freund said in the release. 

“Our assumption underlying these expectations is that the soft, COVID-driven operating environment will continue for most of the first half of 2021, and then improve meaningfully in the second half of the year. We also expect that expenses will be higher than our 2020 levels, but we will continue to manage them in line with revenue growth,” Freund added. 

Table: FLEETCOR’s key performance indicators

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