Wright Express, Inc. (WXS) saw sales growth in the second quarter and raised full year guidance. The company has surprised on the Zacks Consensus Estimate the last 2 quarters. WXS is trading with a forward P/E of 14.8.

Company Description

Wright Express provides payment processing and information management services to the U.S. commercial and government vehicle fleet industry.

The company’s charge cards are used by various commercial and government fleets to purchase fuel and maintenance services for about 4.7 million vehicles. Wright Express also provides MasterCard corporate cards.

Wright Express Beats by 42.50% in the Second Quarter

On July 29, Wright Express reported second quarter results of 57 cents per share that surprised on the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 17 cents.

Like we’ve seen with many companies in 2009, revenues fell year over year by 29% to $78.6 million from $111.2 million. Total fuel transactions processed slid 9% from the year ago quarter to 66.1 million. Payment processing transactions also decreased 8% while transaction processing transactions fell 14%.

However, the average number of vehicles serviced rose 5% year over year and the total MasterCard purchase volume jumped 24% to $771 million from $623 million in the second quarter of 2008.

Guidance Raised for 2009

The company is optimistic, given the growth in the customer base and reduced credit loss. It is also boosting the bottom line through strict cost containment.

However, for the rest of the year, Wright Express assumes 7% to 10% year-over-year declines in transaction volumes due to continued weak economic conditions.

Still, the company is raising full year guidance. It expects third quarter earnings per share in the range of 54 to 57 cents. For the full year, earnings per share are forecast to be $1.94 to $2.04, up from the prior forecast of $1.50 to $1.70.

Zacks Consensus Estimates Rise

Given the raised full-year guidance, covering analysts have been raising estimates to be in line with the company’s projections.

The third quarter Zacks Consensus Estimate rose 3 cents to 56 cents in the last 30 days.

The full-year Zacks Consensus Estimate jumped 8 cents to $2.03 from $1.95 in the last month which is on the upper end of the company’s guidance range.

Value Fundamentals

Wright Express is a Zacks #1 Rank (strong buy) stock. It has a price-to-book ratio of 2.84. The company has a 5-year average return on equity (ROE) of 47.05%.

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