Fluctuations in fuel prices affect the company’s earnings from processing such payments.

WEX’s earnings declined 9 percent in the second quarter of the year, but still beat analysts’ expectations.

The company said Wednesday morning that net income decreased to $48.3 million from $53.1 million during the second quarter of 2014. On a per share, non-GAAP basis, earnings declined from $1.36 a year ago to $1.25 a share during the most recent quarter.

Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had forecast that the South Portland-based company would earn $1.19 a share.

Revenues increased 6 percent, to $213.7 million from $201.6 million a year ago, the average number of vehicles serviced increased 24 percent to 9.8 million, total fuel transactions processed grew by 5 percent and payment-processing transactions increased 11 percent. However, the average expenditure per transaction declined 27 percent to $2.74, reflecting lower fuel prices.

Melissa Smith, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said she was happy with the results, particularly with the company dealing with the swings in the price of fuel. Gasoline and diesel prices can affect how much fuel is purchased for fleets, which affects WEX’s income from processing those payments.

Smith also said that the company’s foreign acquisitions performed better than expected. She said the company will continue to look to buy companies that either expand its geographic footprint or add value to existing holdings.

Smith said the company has about 700 employees in South Portland and is continuing to look at ways to expand its offices in Maine. But WEX is also hiring at its technology centers in Nashville, Tennessee, and Fargo, North Dakota, as well as New Zealand. However, she said that doesn’t lessen the company’s commitment to Maine.

“Our headquarters are here and that’s not going to change,” she said.

The company issued guidance for the third quarter, saying it expects net income of $54 million to $57 million, or $1.38 to $1.46 per share. For the full year, the company said, it expects net income of $192 million to $201 million, or $4.94 to $5.14 per share.

WEX also announced Wednesday that it has added ServiceMaster as a client for its payment services. ServiceMaster, which also owns Terminix and Merry Maids, has a fleet of approximately 6,600 vehicles.

WEX provides corporate payment services, primarily for company vehicle fleets. It has about 2,000 employees and operates in the U.S., in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Norway and Singapore.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

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