WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX) reported a 5% year-over-year decline in revenue to $410.8 million during the company’s first-quarter earnings call Thursday.

The company also posted earnings of $1.79 per share, a 1.1% decline compared to earnings of $1.81 per share a year ago. 

The earnings per share and revenue results modestly beat Wall Street expectations, which had predicted earnings of $1.60 per share and revenue of $410.6 million.

Melissa Smith, Wex’s chair and CEO, said the past year was “full of unprecedented challenges and headwinds, some of which we are still navigating today.”

“This quarter marks a full year since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Smith said. “Though 2020 was full of unprecedented challenges and headwinds, some of which we’re still navigating today, it was also an opportunity for Wex to prove our resilience.”

Portland, Maine-based Wex is a multichannel provider of corporate payment solutions, including fuel payment processing for commercial fleet vehicles. 

Wex’s first-quarter 2021 performance metrics for its fleet segment include:

 — Fleet solutions revenue declined 2.4% to $243.8 million compared to the same period in 2020.

 — Payment processing transactions were down 3% year-over-year to $118.3.

 — Gallons purchased by fleet customers was up 3.6% with fuel prices increasing 5.8% during the quarter.

 — Fleet fuel transactions processed decreased 3% to $146.4 million.

 —  Average number of vehicles serviced was approximately 15.8 million, an increase of 4% from the first quarter of 2020.

Revenue in Wex’s travel and corporate segment were down 24% to $6.1 billion from $8 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

Wex’s health and employee benefit solutions’ average number of software-as-a-service accounts grew 7% to 15.5 million from 14.5 million in the first quarter of 2020. 

“Our North American fleet business, which is a larger part of the business, continues each quarter to look a little bit better. This quarter is a little bit more improvement in the construction trades, more activity in education. We expect that that’s going to continue to play out gradually,” Smith said.

Smith highlighted the company’s growth strategy, which included the debut of the CrossRoads Freight card in October.

“A prime example of this is how we leveraged our technology to the CrossRoads Freight [card] in our over-the-road business,” Smith said. “With recent shifts in consumer buying behaviors toward online purchases, many claims are now more focused on last-mile delivery and are changing the kind of freight [carriers] transport.” 

Smith said the CrossRoads Freight card was key to “winning” J.B. Hunt Transport Services as a customer.

Roberto Simon, Wex’s chief financial officer, said the company is encouraged by how the U.S. economy is recovering and the pace of vaccinations. 

“However, the environment remains unpredictable and therefore we will not be providing full-year revenue and earnings guidance,” Simon said. 

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